Protests across the country spark controversy in fight against COVID-19

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On April 18th, protesters gathered outside Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s house in regard to restrictions placed on residents throughout the state in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Micheal Conroy of WBEZ Chicago.

Alyssa Johnson, Writer

Across the country, protests opposing the states’ individual stay at home orders due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak have been appearing. Many protestors rally for the stay at home orders to be lifted, signs stating their desire to return to work or their concerns towards the economy. 

 

Beginning in Michigan on April 15th, according to WBEZ Chicago, several thousand cars crowded the streets around the Capitol building in Lansing. Around 200 individuals left their cars in favor of congregating around the states of the Capitol building while disregarding social distancing instructions, such as staying six feet apart and wearing masks. Those within their vehicles waved flags, honked their horns, and played songs such as, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “God Bless the USA”. 

 

The Michigan protests are being claimed and organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition. A spokesperson for the Michigan Conservative Coalition, Matt Seely, told Buzzfeed News, “You’re going to see some massive protesting going on. We’ve been asked to basically share our template with other groups to do the same thing, and we’ve done that.”

 

On April 18th, a similar rally occured in Indianapolis outside of Governor Eric Holcomb’s residence. According to the Indystar, the protests were organized to display criticism against the Governor’s executive orders. Some of these executive orders include restricting nonessential businesses from remaining open and encouraging Indiana residents to only make essential trips to essential businesses. 

 

In response to public concern regarding state authority and power, Holcomb stated in a press conference prior to the protests, “If we disagree about that, then I’d be more than welcome to sit down with anyone that wants to go over the Constitution or see where our authority is derived from.”

 

Leah Blomberg spent 18 days hospitalized with COVID-19. “I spent 9 days in a medically induced coma, on a ventilator due to this virus. I spent another 9 days in the ICU having horrible hallucinations from the meds,” Blomberg stated in a Facebook post on April 16th. 

 

According to CNN, Blomberg empathizes with protestors that are struggling financially, as she also lost her job, but also said the demands of protestors are short sighted due to how the virus continues to spread. 

 

Blomberg told CNN, “If you’re in a hospital bed, you’re not making any money anyway. In fact, you’re putting yourself in further debt. If you’re dead, it doesn’t matter anyway — you’re not going to be able to provide for your family. You’re going to have your medical bills, your funeral costs, you’re going to be leaving that for them on top of it all.”

 

The actions and responses in regard to the current COVID-19 pandemic range for each individual. This uncertain time is not easy on anyone and the future is unclear, but practicing safe social distancing and working together is how we’ll overcome this trying time.