As the coronavirus pandemic extends its claws in more than 180 countries, it has resulted in 24,60,792 infected people and 1,68,934 deaths so far across the globe and still counting. Nations worldwide are trying to fight the pandemic by practicing social distancing, continuous sample testing and proper sanitation. Italy, Spain, Singapore, China, India, Taiwan, and the USA have imposed lockdown to control the condition. However, people showed actions of dissent against the lockdown in parts of the US lately. Streets of Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan, and Virginia were filled with protestors asking the authorities to lift lockdown restrictions and return life to normalcy.
Protests were organized outside governors’ mansions and state parliament buildings in Texas and Ohio. People packed the streets of Lansing to protest Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order and other lockdown restrictions. Some of these acts are being promoted via Facebook groups while groups funded by Republican donors back others. The largest was when thousands jammed the streets of Lansing, Michigan, on Wednesday, looked much like one of the president’s rallies — with MAGA (Make America Great Again) hats or Trump flags.
When asked about the protestors, President Donald Trump said, “They’re suffering … they want to get back.”. “They seem to be protesters that like me and respect this opinion, and my opinion is the same as just about all of the governors” he added. Nobody wants to stay shut.”, he said. He put across a framework for governors to follow on Thursday but acknowledged they would have the final say on when their state is ready.
According to reports, the views of protesters are not widely held. Three-quarters of Americans backed requiring people to stay in their homes, and majorities of both Democrats and Republicans showed support to lockdown. But the protests expose resilient partisan divisions, particularly in Michigan.
The protest got organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition, a group founded by a pro-Trump state representative and his wife. Another group that promoted the event, the Michigan Freedom Fund, run by Greg McNeilly, a longtime political adviser to the DeVos family, who are prolific Republican donors and have funded conservative causes across the state for decades. Adding on, a rally of cars made it to the Republican-dominated statehouse in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, with messages written on windows that said “stop killing our economy,” “we need our church” and “time 2 work”.
As reported, the USA has around 7,28,380 corona positive cases and 38,424 deaths. With such severe conditions prevailing, lifting the lockdown restrictions too fast would worsen the situation. As stated by many leaders, it is time for people to come together and fight the pandemic; not the right time for politics. People coming on the streets and protesting against lockdown clearly shows how orders of social distancing aren’t getting practiced.
It might lead to a significant loss of lives. As per WHO’s guidelines on lockdown, We should be ready to “change our behaviors for the foreseeable future”. Experts are saying, if lockdown restrictions get lifted, it will take at least two to three weeks to show the result and that would be too late for the US to wake up. The events have made us wonder if the USA is prioritizing the economy over humanity? Is it focusing on the normalcy of lives instead of life itself?
Image Source – Global News