The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Protesters Put Themselves and Others in Danger to Call for Reopening of Economy

Why this is causing more harm than good

In recent weeks, people have been gathering to protest the government-mandated lockdown and to call for the reopening of the economy. They have been forgoing social distancing and quarantine orders to gather in protest of the lockdown — no masks, no gloves, not standing six feet apart and no regard for themselves or others.

There is no question that this lockdown has created a mess for the economy and for so many people, but there is a reason that social distancing and quarantine orders have been put in place. COVID-19 can sit dormant for up to two weeks in the body before symptoms appear or people can contract the virus and remain asymptomatic, but are still contagious. Luckily, while the virus does not have an extremely high mortality rate, we must not forget that there are people at higher risk and essential workers who these protocols are aiming to protect. The multitudes of people who have forgone these orders to go protest have not only put themselves at higher risk of contracting the virus, but have put others at higher risk, which to me is problematic. Not to mention, if these protesters come down with COVID-19, it is likely that they will end up contributing to the already overcrowded hospitals and put more doctors and nurses at risk of contracting this virus.

I understand the problems that result from the economy being shut down, but there are ways to object to the lockdown without putting so many people in danger of contracting the virus. For example, simply wearing a mask and attempting to keep a safe distance while going out and protesting would have made the demonstrations just a tiny bit safer (although still not the safest). I would have suggested starting a petition or writing to members of Congress who can help instill change to better the economy or lift strict lockdown conditions. Going out during a pandemic with a rapidly spreading virus is not the way to adequately solve a problem, but simply a way to help the spread of the virus. And if the virus continues to spread because of those who are ignoring social distancing and quarantine orders, we’re all just going to be stuck this way for even longer.

Now, with that being said, I do believe that the government needs to take more steps to help people facing unemployment, those who have had their hours cut, small businesses, etc. Facing the reality that what you have been given is not realistically enough to live off of or that the business you worked so hard for might have to close is — without a doubt — terrifying, and if we are going to stay in lockdown to help fight this virus, then the government needs to help a bit more to put people at ease.

Living through COVID-19 is obviously a new and scary experience for everyone, but as a society we need to be taking care of one another and not putting others in danger. Going out and protesting a necessary lockdown is doing very little but spreading the virus further and causing this frightening experience to last just a little bit longer.

 

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About the Contributor
Sara Rodia
Sara Rodia, Opinion Editor Emerita
Sara is a fourth year English major with a minor in Sociology who is severing her second year as Opinion editor. This year Sara hopes to continue expanding the opinion section and get more counter angles for stories. Outside of being an editor for the Torch, Sara teaches gymnastics to younger children! You can reach Sara at [email protected].
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