Are we really protesting Stay at Home orders?

Stay at Home orders started in the middle of March and were extended through April, now into May, and in some states they will stay in effect until mid-June. Businesses have been closed which means no eating out, no school, no parks, no shopping malls, no movie theaters, no nightclubs or bars, no church, basically no public gatherings of any kind. These orders were put into place to stop the rapid spread of COVID 19 that hit the United States out of nowhere, at least in my oblivious world, and ripped through communities causing many to get sick and some deaths. Minnesota was recently recognized as a place whose number of confirmed cases had dropped because we’ve done a good job at social distancing. So why are the Stay at Home orders being protested in states around the country, including ours, when we know it’s working?

Being home has been hard for us all. We don’t get much interaction with our peers, some of us get none if we live alone or with children only. We have had to change our frame of working, most people now working from home, and school, with parents having to home school their school-aged children. None of these transitions have been easy, but they’ve been necessary. Small-local businesses have been one of the largest groups of people impacted. They can’t afford to keep paying their employees, they can’t afford to pay to keep their leases, and they didn’t get much bail out from government grants. Yet and still, they aren’t going out into the streets screaming to be open, or even worse, opening in secret.

Protesting something like this order really just screams privilege. I read on a website somewhere that someone called the people protesting “modern day Rosa Parks.” I was appalled that they would use such a comparison to speak about such an unnecessary movement. Comparing these Stay at Home orders to years of slavery, oppression, murder, rape, and criminalization of a whole community is offensive to say the very least. I know people who are fighting on the front lines of COVID in the healthcare industry and I know people that have fought on the front lines of the Civil Rights movement. Not that I’d rather compare these two communities, but these protestors deserve no attention and no positive recognition for what they are doing. I’m all for social justice movements… but this one just doesn’t move me.

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