Stay-at-home protests valid, conduct of protesters irresponsible

Stay-at-home protests valid, conduct of protesters irresponsible


Protests about the stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are breaking out across the United States, with frustrated citizens gathering in mass to demand a reopening of the economy and a relaxing of stay-at-home orders. While some are against these protests and believe that they’re more of an endangerment to the rest of the population, the message these protests have is extremely important.

According to The Washington Post, approximately 22 million Americans are unemployed and Finance, a financial post, claims that roughly 26.5 million jobs have been lost. In light of these circumstances, it makes sense that people want to get back to work, want to be able to provide for themselves and their families, and want to start to get their lives back. While the concerns the protesters are voicing are valid, it’s important to keep in mind that moving too fast with easing restrictions is a valid concern. Saving lives and maintaining proper health is important, but at some point, individuals need to get back to at least a semblance of their proper lives. With this being said, it is not the message of the protests that needs to be changed, but rather the conduct of the protesters themselves. 

Currently, the CDC and COVID-19 task force highly recommends individuals to wear a mask when going outside and to practice social distancing. These guidelines are in place to help prevent the spread of the virus while giving people some ability to go about essential tasks, like work or shopping for groceries. However, protesters have done everything but follow these basic guidelines. Aerial shots of protests happening in Encinitas and Pacific Beach show protesters shoulder to shoulder with only a few wearing face masks. Three individuals in the Encinitas protest were arrested for violating stay-at-home orders, specifically by congregating on a closed beach front, according to CBS. 

Ironically, these protests have only gone to show that America isn’t ready to exercise common sense and follow basic rules to keep themselves and others safe during the pandemic. The protesters will most likely never gain the respect and attention of their state governments or opponents if they continue to conduct themselves in such a rash and ignorant manner by defying basic common-sense measures, such as wearing a mask. 

Luckily, the changes needed to make these protests worthwhile are easy to administer and will create a huge impact. If protesters begin to wear face coverings, exercise social distancing, and protest in an orderly fashion, their message will garner the respect and proper attention it needs to create legitimate change. When protesters cooperate and follow the guidelines supplied by the state governments, they not only show that they will continue to cooperate once safety measures are relaxed, but it will also encourage the governments to make these changes happen sooner, bringing us all one step closer to defeating this crisis.