Only in America

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Attribution: Ɱ / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

//PAIGE GERLING//

Only in America do people in scrubs stand in the way of screaming protestors. Only in America is the fine line between chivalry and pure ignorance blurred. Only in America do people masquerade around preaching misguided statements, thinking they are above the law. It is a disgrace to our country and the principles it should stand for. 

While the world sits anxiously in their homes, hundreds of people across the country are crowding together in protest. “The right to petition is ensured under the First Amendment,” is the sentiment coming from the protestors who rebel against stay-at-home orders. However, the First Amendment does not ensure the right to idiocy. Yes, it is true that the First Amendment ensures the right to petition, but when hundreds of people are repeatedly violating the law by doing it, there’s a different scenario. 

Undoubtedly, millions of people across the country have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The number of unemployed persons rose by 1.4 million to 7.1 million in March.” Millions of adults from across the nation have stopped going to work in-person, working from home instead. And, according to Pew Research Center, The onset of coronavirus has approximately 40% of working-age adults working from home. 

The harsh situation faced by many Americans makes this unprecedented time even more critical, and it is up to us to treat it as such. It is easy to list the number of things that have gone amiss, and it is easy to respond and retaliate. 

As a teenager, I may not yet know what it feels like to lose a job, or what it feels like to lose faith in the people who are supposed to protect us from this looming threat. However, I do know that protesting the orders that are put in place to keep us safe is not the way to go about the situation.

While all 50 states have some form of stay-at-home order in place, it also seems that many states are teeming with protestors, decrying their own safety. When protestors flock state capitol buildings in herds, do they expect any results? 

The more people who swarm state governments, the longer the wait. If perhaps 500 people (who, given the supposed issue they are protesting) swarm together, who knows how many other people they have brought along with them? In the form of handshakes, hugs, coughs, sneezes and even passing somebody walking along the street. 

By swarming in crowds, people who oppose stay-at-home orders are making the situation worse for themselves and every citizen of the world who is trying their best to comply with the motions set in place. For every crowd of people who protests, a family could have to wait another day for a meal, or a working citizen may have to wait a bit longer for their next paycheck. 

A virus with no face and no personality, much less an identity, manifests itself into a powerful being which, for some, dominates every waking thought.

This virus may seem like a bleak prognosis at times, but we are selling our potential short. With the help of thousands of doctors, nurses, law enforcement, essential workers in all fields, and, of course, millions of citizens who stay at home, we can defeat coronavirus. 

Only in America do we have the laws and abilities to come together as a community (staying six feet apart, of course) and make a difference. By doing our part, even if that means just staying at home and watching television (if you are able to), we can help defeat the coronavirus and the multitude of societal symptoms that come with it.

Works Cited

“Coronavirus Protests: The Moment a Man in Scrubs Confronts Drivers.” BBC News, BBC, 21 Apr. 2020, www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52371977.

“Employment Situation Summary.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3 Apr. 2020, www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm.

“Most Americans Say Coronavirus Outbreak Has Impacted Their Lives.” Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project, 7 Apr. 2020, www.pewsocialtrends.org/2020/03/30/most-americans-say-coronavirus-outbreak-has-impacted-their-lives/.