Angry Stay-At-Home Protestors Rally On Streets During Pandemic That Has Left 43,006 Americans Dead
As many of us are following social distancing orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19, quarantine protests are breaking out in states like Michigan. These protests caused traffic jams and even blocked health care workers from getting to the hospital.
According to the Daily Beast, an executive order from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer banned people from going to second homes and closed non-essential businesses. Some residents of the state object to these new rules.
Quarantine Protests Block Michigan Hospitals
The protest outside the Michigan Capitol was reportedly called “Operation Gridlock” in a Facebook invitation. Protesters gathered in their cars to push back against the governor’s orders, in the process making it difficult for health care workers to give care to patients.
“I can’t do my job!” health care worker James Smith said in a video obtained by Now This News. “I can’t help anybody, because y’all decided to block up every entrance way to get to the hospital!”
“The cars were blocking one of our hospitals, so an ambulance literally wasn’t able to get into the bay for ten minutes,” said Gov. Whitmer said in a TV interview. “This is the kind of behavior that extends the needs for stay-at-home orders, that spreads COVID-19.”
Why Are People Protesting Quarantine?
While experts say social distancing is an important step to slow the spread of coronavirus and stop hospitals from being overwhelmed, some people object to new stay-at-home rules.
“It’s time for our state to be opened up,” one Michigan woman said in the above video from Now This. “We’re tired of not being able to buy the things that we need, go to the hairdressers, get our hair done. It’s time to open up.”
“We’re not her children,” another protester said of Gov. Whitmer. “Until this virus runs its course, it’s gonna stay here. And all we’re doing is hiding from it.” People in other states are also protesting. A group called “ReopenNC,” for example, wants to ease restrictions in North Carolina.
Gov. Whitmer, meanwhile, called the Michigan protest a “political rally” that “flies in the face of all of the science, all of the best practices, and the stay-at-home order that was issued.”