Stay at home orders in Pennsylvania cause protests in Harrisburg

Protesters gathered on the steps of the Capitol Building in Harrisburg on May 15. Carrying signs and giving speeches, the protesters hope to get their point across.

Standing outside of the Capitol building in Harrisburg, Pa. on May 15, Pa. citizens protest the reinstatement of the Stay-at-home order from Governor Tom Wolf.
For some people, the continuation of the stay-at-home order is more than just a political debate.
According to Berks County resident Vicky Shellhammer, “We’re nothings [referencing political party identity.] The media makes it out to be one side or another, but it’s not.”
Berks County resident Dorothy Reilly stated, “It doesn’t matter what your party affiliation is. It affects all of us one way or another.”
Some say that having the choice of whether or not they want to isolate is the right way to go. “End the government facilitated lockdown entirely. I think it should be our own choice,” Reilly said. “I’m not against isolating, I’m against being forced to.”
According to Shellhammer, with other states opening, it’s frustrating that Pennsylvania is still on complete lock down. “I really think it’s time that the people have a choice in the matter and aren’t forced to be inside anymore,” Shellhammer said.
Though the protest was seen as a political gathering, many don’t want it to be that way. “Right now, I’d like to see things a lot less political,” Coventryville resident Ray Costanzo said. “There’s a definite right-wing bias here, but I don’t think it should be like this, it’s about our freedoms, not parties.”
For many, the important thing is getting back to work. “I think every business is essential to someone; people have to make a living. It’s our right to go to work,” Reilly said.
When trying to express feelings about the topic, it can be difficult to pick a side. “When making my sign for today, I was trying to express how I was feeling, which was hard. The only thing I could really think of was ‘bruh,’” Costanzo said, “and that’s exactly what I put on my sign.”
An important goal for some is some sense of normalcy. “We need to get back to normal. We don’t need the ‘new normal’ people are talking about. What we really need is to go back where we were and work our way up from there,” Shellhammer said.
“I think that we need to get better as a people in general, and this huge split between parties isn’t going to help,” Reilly said.
“I think the most important thing to remember here is that we’re all one country whether we like it or not,” Costanza said. “This issue needs to remain politically agnostic. We’re all in it together.”