Anti-stay-at-home protests heighten risk of contracting COVID-19

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Julia Winski, Staff Writer

 Since the outbreak of COVID-19, officials have now enforced nationwide stay-at-home orders to keep the virus from spreading. Some people, however, disagree with these policies and are disobeying government orders by protesting.They express their disapproval for these policies by not wearing masks. People’s sense of injustice stemming from a lack of income and a spike in unemployment rates; people want their freedom back.

         The people protesting this stay-at-home order are not only putting themselves at risk for contracting the virus, but also risking the lives of those around them.

        “It’s devastatingly worrisome to me personally because if they go home and infect their grandmother or their grandfather who are not in the best condition, then it can have a serious or an unfortunate outcome,” coronavirus task force coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx on NPR news said.

        Infections in the United States are already extremely high and surpass other nation’s infection rates.  With all these people not following the government’s orders, the spread of the virus will continue.

        “Staying at home / social distancing is going to slow the spread of this virus while the country is working on a vaccine,” Health Clerk Mary Bakal said. “The slower the spread, the less people that contract the virus and therefore the less people who die from it.” 

        Healthcare professionals from all around the world are risking their lives everyday to help those in need, with many saying how difficult navigating this virus has been and express their annoyance toward protesters since they are not helping to contain the virus.

        “We can’t re-open the country now because our infection rates haven’t lowered yet and we haven’t developed a fool-proof means of reducing infection or protecting against it on a mass scale,” junior Anna Merca said.

        As of May 12th, there have been 83,019+ deaths from COVID-19 and 290,000+ worldwide. This global pandemic is affecting people all around the world and if citizens don’t listen to CDC orders on sheltering in place, more people will die.

        “In Texas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has allowed stores, restaurants and movie theaters to re-open, though in the six days since that order was announced Dallas County has twice seen its daily tally of new coronavirus cases hit a new high,” article “Birx On ‘Stay-At-Home’ Protests: ‘Devastatingly Worrisome’” on NPR news said.

        Governor Greg Abbott reopening many businesses was probably meant to be seen as a step up to improve the nation’s economy, which has been deeply affected by the pandemic. But, in order to get the economy fully back on track, we need to wait to reopen many businesses or else infection rates will continue to skyrocket.

          “Face masks act as a physical barrier to protect you and others from viruses and people unknowingly might infect others by going out and spreading germs by coughing or touching others if they don’t wear masks,” Merca said.

        These protesters aren’t just campaigning for freedom. Many simply don’t want to wear masks, although it is scientifically proven and advised by the CDC for people to use them during these times. Now many grocery stores and remaining open businesses require a mask to enter.

        Since there were a few weeks when everyone was eager to know more information about COVID-19 and how quickly it spread, many people still don’t have a clear understanding of how the virus spreads and the steps that should be taken to prevent it. On top of this, many people don’t trust the government and believe that fake news is consuming people’s everyday lives.

        “I think there is so much confusing information being put out that people may be frustrated and not understand the risk they are taking if they protest stay-at-home orders,” Bakal said.