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As a result of the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the state of Md., Gov. Larry Hogan issued a stay-at-home order–basically a lockdown. For the past few weeks, Marylanders have been holed up in their homes, uncertain of what lies ahead, and when life will return to normal. As families and friends grieve losses and try to deal with illnesses, there is a whole other side to this pandemic.
Many people have lost jobs, and seniors have lost the ending to their final year. People are still trying to make sense of what was never expected to occur. Most Marylanders have been following Hogan’s orders and maintaining social distancing.
According to a March 2020 Gavi.org article, “the less contact people have with each other, the less the virus can spread. Given the rapid spread of the virus, social lockdown is urgent to bring overall transmission down… to ‘flatten the curve.’”
But, there are some people that have been having a hard time dealing with these restrictions; some have gone farther than breaking these rules. Thousands of protestors from different states in the country are marching to protest against these orders.
According to an April 2020 Vox article, “some marched with rifles draped across their backs and handguns resting on their hips, while others shared conspiracy theories about Bill Gates and his involvement with the Covid-19 vaccine.”
These lockdowns have not been ordered to control citizens, they are to protect the lives of the 331,002,651 people that live in our country. People are challenging health care workers and harassing them. Is this really what humanity has become? Attacking the very people who are sacrificing their lives everyday, the heroes.
According to local Raleigh news station, WRAL, Facebook moderator of “Reopen NC” Audrey Whitlock said “I will take a stand every day until we are a free people again, to sound the alarm because someone has to do the right thing in the face of wrong.”
Those that are protesting that their freedom has been taken away are not looking at the facts. The government is not looking to take away their freedom, they are hoping to save them. Citizens are in a state of emergency and their first thought should not be about the fact that they cannot gather, it should be ‘how can I protect myself?’ These protestors need to look at the horrific rise in numbers every single day: the rise in deaths, the rise in cases, the rise in families that have to grieve alone. Those that made these orders did a lot of research and took in a lot of consideration, and as a result believe that these terms are necessary to keep us safe.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said, “there are more important things than living.”
You cannot just protest a virus. The virus is here. It is real, and there is no conspiracy about that. Those that are mad at the government cannot harass health care workers, preventing them access to hospitals. Although it is extremely devastating to see the state of the government right now, it is the duty of citizens to follow the laws, whether they support them or not.
According to an April 2020 Vox article, Dr. Caitlin Rivers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security said, “We have sacrificed so much already, but it feels like nothing is working. That’s because it takes weeks to see results. We must stay committed and trust that the social distancing we are enduring now will save thousands of lives.”
People need to think about the end goal: to get rid of this virus. The government is taking every necessary step to get rid of this virus. Lockdowns would not be in place unless they were necessary. Once this is all over, there will be the ability to return to normal. But, unless everyone cooperates with these rules, normal will not be seen for a lot longer. Although many can relate to the frustration of being cooped up in our houses, everyone across the country is dealing with the same thing. Instead of protesting, we need to thank government officials for working hard everyday to keep us safe and thank health care workers for risking their lives every day to protect us.