Opinion: Quarantine Protesters are Reckless
Given my position on this student publication, it’s ironic that I don’t follow the news much these days, and if I do, I try to stay away from pandemic-related topics. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of effort to ignore St. Louisans publicly protesting Governor Mike Parson’s stay-at-home order.
Over the past few days, people ranging from California to North Carolina have been going outside and demanding political leaders to reopen their states for reasons as innocent as wanting a haircut or as paranoid as believing COVID-19 is a hoax, and Missouri has not been any different.
In a normal situation, I would support and encourage any kind of protest for any reason, unless its intention is to spread misinformation and cause harm to a specific group of people, because citizens of the United States have the right to protest against anything they disagree with. The right to protest is used to bring attention to a plethora of issues on a monthly basis.
However, we are not living in a normal situation. Today, we are living in a pandemic-ridden world that will not improve until people do all they can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and a proven vaccine is made available to anyone who needs it.
Until then, protesting for change is irresponsible. Preventing the spread means staying inside and away from others as much as possible, which these protests clearly go against, creating more harm in an already scary situation. People who do leave their homes should always take precautions like wearing a mask and not touching their faces seriously if they live with others and especially if they live with someone vulnerable to COVID-19. And even then, people shouldn’t be leaving their homes unless they are essential workers or are grabbing groceries or other necessities.
In the case that you want to continue protesting, I recommend simply calling your state’s governor or sending a letter to your local newspaper. I understand the desire to return to life as we knew it, but the coronavirus is a real threat and protesting will only endanger yourself and others.
Will Roach, senior, has been the Opinions editor for the Messenger since 2018. Will is also the president of Movie Appreciation Club and a member of the...
Jilian Bunderson, senior, is the Illustrator for the Messenger. She is also the co-president of Renaissance, a member of NHS, and has been involved in...