Why Are Americans Protesting for Their Right to Die?
The protests against the closures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic are dangerous displays of selfishness and privilege
Americans all across the U.S. are protesting for their state governments to re-open all businesses that were closed because of the threat COVID-19 presents.
Let me say that again:
Americans are protesting against being instructed to stay home because they believe their rights are being violated. What rights? Apparently, the protesters want the right to get infected and die during a pandemic.
The protestors quarrel should be and is with the federal government for not efficiently providing relief funds to the millions of people that need it. People are scared that they won’t be able to provide for their families and rightfully so- this is a scary-ass time. However, a pandemic is a pandemic. The Coronavirus does not care about the economy. The Coronavirus cannot listen to our reasons for wanting to re-open everything and oblige us.
These are a few quotes from people who attended the protests in Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia over the past few days.
“You can’t buy paint. You can’t buy law-lawn fertilizer or grass seed. I mean c’mon.” (1:20–1:26)
“I’m a freaking American and we need to start acting like it.” (0:17–0:22)
“I didn’t plan for a pandemic, I never put money away for the rainy day. We are opening!” — Bill Bader JR, business owner (1:24–1:31)
“We want the governor to know that we have a voice too and we don’t want to be on lockdown anymore.” (0:39–0:46)
The most ironic quote of all was of a man named Joseph Dixon, who was protesting in Lansing to support Michigan businesses.
Interviewer: Are you concerned about this virus?
Joseph Dixon: I was in the beginning until I’ve done my research and found out the realities and the media’s overreach on it and uh, that it’s not as serious as they made it out to be. (7:08–7:47)
He said that while dressed like this:
Obviously, the worry that Americans all across the United States will not have enough money to pay rent, their mortgages, and have enough money for food and water is 100% valid. That is what everyone is dealing with right now. But your life is more important than working. The response should not be re-opening businesses infecting thousands of people and making the quarantine last even longer.
Meeting in groups of more than ten people to protest mandatory social distancing guidelines when asymptomatic carriers can spread the virus is quite frankly absurd. It shows that this pandemic is not being taken seriously. The actual quarantine will begin when these people are not brazenly walking the streets in close proximity to each other.
It takes an extraordinary amount of privilege and selfishness to leave your house with the intent to protest during a damn quarantine. You’re jeopardizing the health and wellbeing of quite literally everyone around you and yourself. You can tell these people didn’t want to catch anything because a lot of them were wearing face masks, but they didn’t care enough because they were standing around together all willy-nilly.
You’re not a martyr for protesting. You aren’t “sticking it to the Dems” by opposing a stay-at-home order. You’re actively hurting the people in your community that you claim to support so much. It’s ignorance, plain and simple.
Many people (myself included) are genuinely baffled at the protesting because the result of re-opening everything at this stage of the pandemic is thousands of more people becoming infected and potentially dying.
If you go back to work, you and millions of others could die from COVID-19.
If non-essential businesses are re-opened, you and millions of others could die from COVID-19. I didn’t think we’d get to a point where we’d have to convince people not to want to die. If social distancing and quarantining wasn’t absolutely necessary, damn near every nation on the globe wouldn’t be doing it right now.
Thousands of people are dying from Coronavirus every day. You can be carrying the disease asymptotically, you can have minor symptoms but have no available testing in your area, or you could be admitted to a hospital where there are no ventilators available. There are too many variables in COVID-19 screening and treatment to avoid an even more massive second wave.
If this is where we are after 35 days of quarantining, I’m scared to see how the rest of this time will progress.
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Solér Bean is a freelance writer and an always-exhausted college student. A Las Vegas native, she writes while trying to keep Malcolm- the needy and greedy schnauzer- from dying of lack of attention. She’s been writing for five years about politics, various social issues, race, relationships, dating, and mental health. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.