Almost three million people have contracted the COVID virus worldwide, more than 200,000 have died so far. In the US according to the Center for Disease Control some 800 thousand people have contracted the novel coronavirus and more than 50 thousand have died. States have issued stay at home orders for almost all citizens except essential workers, to stop the spread of the pandemic. But some do not agree with these measures as they see them as an infringement on their constitutional rights and their ability to make a living.
In Michigan three to four thousand people gathered in front of the state capitol to protest governor Gretchen Whitmer, stating that her order to close nonessential business is an overreaction and will be an economic suicide. Most of the protesters showed up in their cars, which in a sense could count as social distancing, with sings against what they think is an overstep from the governor comparing her to fascist leaders. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in the steps of the capitol building shouting and demanding that the state lift the lockdown orders. Some of them even exercised their second amendment rights carrying weapons like AR 5 rifles and various semi-automatic pistols. Open carry laws apply to Michigan.
Protests sprung around the US, with Ohio, North Carolina, Minnesota, and dozen more states having anti lockdown gatherings. Most of them organized by a conservative association tied to the DeVos family. And others by local far-right groups holding confederate flags and civil war memorabilia in an attempt to summon the rebellious spirit of the south according to some protestor. Many anti-vaccine and religious groups have shown up in these gatherings raising concerns of misguided distrust in the scientific community in a time when we need them the most. Questioning the powers of government is one of Americas most important traits in the US society along with the right to pursue economic prosperity and happiness. That said, the protection of public health and the institutions are also civic duties that need to apply to all of us.
The economic impact of the pandemic is yet to be seen, but what is a most sure is that if we did nothing to mitigate the spread of the disease the numbers would be much higher than they are now. As many as 2 million people could die if half the population got infected according to the CDC projections. That would be an enormous shock to society and the health system would collapse preventing hospitals from performing vita surgeries and procedures. Protesters have surely all rights to do so, but when organizations that have either political or religious goals start to manipulate them to push their agenda we should be worried. The best to do right now is to trust scientific innovation and support the great heroes that are our health workers.