Massive gatherings of people in the form of protests are happening all around the country at state capitals, including those in the past week in Wyoming and Colorado. This is as we move from days into weeks into months of the COVID-19 lock down that is forcing a majority of us to essentially avoid large gatherings, or even small ones of any kind.
The pain from this lock down, issued in state stay-at-home orders, is already deep, and we believe, as do many, it will be long lasting. That’s what the protestors fear as well, as the basis of their gathering appears to be demands over reopening the country. Their arguments are the same ones we’ve heard for months now, the same ones doctors have refuted for months: The flu is much worse, and the pain caused by the lock down is even worse.
Other protestors main concerns aren’t over ‘freedom,’ but rather access to other people’s labor, services and pleasures that they think that they are entitled to at any cost, including the risk of having said workers contract the virus and possibly die from said virus.
We believe that every person is “essential,” but being essential doesn’t stop at their job: we believe that every person in this country has the right to avoid infectious disease, even if that means not going to school, not gathering in large groups, and not getting a haircut.
Human life is more valuable than any amount of money, and you’d think that the same party (and protestors in some cases) who shout “every life is valued” wouldn’t be the ones claiming that they can do whatever they want with their body at the expense of everyone else’s life.
The real issue with the corona virus is it is a disaster that affects everyone. No other disaster since World War II has approached it, and even then, almost all of that war was fought overseas, away from our shores. Plus the war helped bring us out of a depression. The virus is causing one.
This means that it takes everyone to beat it. People need to stay distanced from each other for a while longer. We understand that everybody hurts, but we need to share that pain, rather than cause more of it by gathering in large groups to assert your rights to visit Chili’s on a Saturday.
It would be tempting to allow Darwin to do his work on the crowd who gathered in Colorado and Wyoming, but no one deserves an early death in the way this virus brings it. Instead, we will call on those protesting to understand that they are only increasing the chances that someone else will suffer that fate, and the germs will be on their hands.