By Nwafor Sunday with Agency report
Many protests have been launched in US, following the alleged killing of George Floyd, a black African-American man by a police officer in Minneapolis.
But the question is, amidst these protests, have they not contracted the virus? Are US citizens not afraid of the deadly coronavirus anymore?
Report has it that confirmed cases of covid-19 in US, skyrocketed to 1.81million in few months. It further stated that about 390 thousand people have been recovered from the virus, and 104 thousand are recorded dead.
With the above statistics, I believe it’s enough reason for US citizens to cordially comply with the directives of the World Health Organisation, WHO, and other health agencies.
But the reverse however is the case the moment the news about the death of Floyd broke in the internet.
Having heard the story of his cruel death in the hands of police officers, American citizens stormed the streets unprotected and protested against his death.
Their protests have actually caused havocs and some damages in the state. A step back to Friday, reports emerged that Minneapolis station was set ablaze and dozens were injured.
However, the mayor of Atlanta, one of dozens of U.S. cities hit by massive protests in recent days, has a message for demonstrators: “If you were out protesting last night, you probably need to go get a COVID test this week.”
As emergency orders are lifted and beaches and businesses reopen, add protests to the list of concerns about a possible second wave of coronavirus outbreaks. It’s also an issue from Paris to Hong Kong, where anti-government protesters accuse police of using social distancing rules to break up their rallies.
Health experts fear that silent carriers of the virus who have no symptoms could unwittingly infect others at gatherings with people packed cheek to jowl and cheering and jeering, many without masks. “Whether they’re fired up or not that doesn’t prevent them from getting the virus,” said Bradley Pollock, chairman of the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of California, Davis.
One Atlanta protester said she has no choice following the death last Monday of George Floyd, a black man, after a white police officer in Minneapolis pressed a knee into his neck.
“It’s not OK that in the middle of a pandemic we have to be out here risking our lives,” Spence Ingram, a black woman, said after marching with other protesters to the state Capitol in Atlanta on Friday. “But I have to protest for my life and fight for my life all the time.” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, in her warning Saturday evening, said “there is still a pandemic in America that’s killing black and brown people at higher numbers.”
After another night of unrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said that many protesters wearing masks were simply trying to hide their identities and “cause confusion and take advantage of this situation.”
READ ALSO: How George Floyd, black African-American victim of racism died in the hands of a white police officer
According to AFP, the state’s health commissioner has warned that the protests are almost certain to fuel new cases of the virus. Minnesota reported 35 deaths on Thursday, a single-day high in the outbreak, and 29 more on Friday. “We have two crises that are sandwiched on top of one other,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said.
The protests come at a time when many U.S. cities are beginning to relax stay-at-home orders. When Los Angeles officials announced the reopening of stores last week, they said political protests could resume but with a cap of 100 people.
That didn’t stop several hundred people from showing up for a protest that shut down a freeway. Most wore masks, but many did not observe a buffer zone. Even for the many protesters who have been wearing masks, those don’t guarantee protection from the coronavirus.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends cloth masks because they can make it more difficult for infected people to spread the virus — but they are not designed to protect the person wearing the mask from getting it.
I, therefore ask, are US Citizens no longer afraid of coronavirus anymore? Or is Covid-19 no longer transmittable?.