Why protests against stay-at-home orders need to stop


K.C. Alfred, San Diego Union Tribune.

San Diegans gather at Pacific Beach to protest against stay-at-home orders. Credit: MCT Campus.

Ana Laniado, Staff Writer

Front-line workers in the medical field all over the country are now risking their lives in order to protect others from COVID-19, when they don’t even have the chance to protect themselves or the people they love. So, why are people disrespecting the hard work of these front-line workers by protesting because they “want a haircut”?

These past few days, people all over the country have protested against the stay-at home precautions by congregating in massive groups. Some even supported their arguments by holding signs calling COVID-19 a “lie,” or even saying the stay-at-home orders were “slavery,” according to Ken Stone, from the Times of San Diego.

This is very concerning – COVID-19 is highly contagious and being in large crowds could, potentially, aid in the further spreading of the virus.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, is deeply worried about the protests, as reported by TIME:

“It’s devastatingly worrisome to me personally, because if they go home and infect their grandmother or their grandfather who has a co-morbid condition and they have a serious or an unfortunate outcome they will feel guilty for the rest of our lives,” Birx said.

This said, front-line workers, specifically those in the medical field, are expected to do their job seamlessly in the midst of this ongoing pandemic. Though some are fortunate to be able to provide medical advice via tele-conference, the majority work hands-on with victims of the virus. A virus that they have seen kill their own patients in a matter of days.

Those working at convenience stores, supermarkets, gas stations and countless other establishments that remain open, have also been working tirelessly while exposing themselves to people who might not even know if they have the virus.

The homeless population is also at a significantly high risk of contracting COVID-19. They have minimal access to the directions given by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, “people who are homeless are more likely than the general public to have chronic underlying health conditions that can make the disease more deadly.” They are unable to practice the precautions given by the government because they lack the resources.

This is why I find it irrational to protest against the stay-at-home orders – the majority of us are fortunate enough to not be constantly exposed to the virus like front-line workers or the homeless population. If the masses didn’t view the orders given as potentially beneficial, they would not have been implemented to begin with.

The economic downturn this pandemic is causing is difficult to deal with for everyone. Still, if businesses would have stayed open to aid the economy, that would’ve probably resulted in even more casualties from the virus. Therefore, defying government given orders by demanding businesses to reopen is just doing more harm than good for everyone.