By DANIEL WATERS
The belief that staying at home as much as possible is better than going out during these times should not be an opinion. American citizens have managed to become divided over the widespread stay-at-home orders that were instituted to protect, not oppress. These shelter-in-place orders are effective, too. New Zealand has had one of the most aggressive responses to coronavirus in terms of lockdowns, and they had zero new confirmed coronavirus cases as of May 4. However, across the Pacific, the virus continues to spread and protests are happening across the United States because of detrimental rhetoric that runs counter to rational thought. In Southern California, such protests have occurred in Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino and Riverside.
Stay-at-home orders, designed to protect vulnerable citizens and stabilize an overloaded healthcare system, are compared to tyranny at a protest in Michigan. (Jeff Kowalsky/Agence France-Presse, via Getty Images)
Those that oppose stay-at-home orders do not argue that they are ineffective, but instead that shutting down the country is worse than reopening it. In their minds, freedom, monetary gain and consumer services outweigh the lives of them and their loved ones. However, nothing could ever be as important as life. Citizens should not be free to endanger others, and that is what reopening the country right now would do. In any other scenario, endangering others is punishable by law; for instance willfully exposing someone to an STD, reckless driving or drunk driving.
These protests are directly counter to what is best for the country. A mass gathering of people in close proximity is exactly what needs to be avoided to slow the spread of such an infectious virus. Everyone that has participated in a protest or mass social gathering is directly risking the lives of themselves and their families.
One potential source of this dangerous reasoning is President Donald Trump. Although he has emphasized that “we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself,” Trump cannot seem to follow his own advice. On April 23, during a White House coronavirus taskforce briefing, he suggested that injecting disinfectant into the body could combat coronavirus. Disinfectant would not only cause great bodily harm if injected, but it’s not even effective. Additionally, Trump backed hydroxychloroquine, an FDA-approved drug for malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, to treat those infected with COVID-19, claiming that the FDA approved the drug for coronavirus treatment when the FDA explicitly cautioned against it. In Phoenix, an old married couple took a form of the drug, and the man died and the woman was left in critical condition. Misinformation and the false claim that coronavirus is comparable to the flu also contribute to the belief that staying at home is not necessary.
As New Zealand showed the world, it does not need to be this complicated. They have essentially eradicated the spread of coronavirus already. All it takes is your momentary sacrifice of staying at home to save the lives of many others. The more people that disobey the guidelines that have been clearly established, the longer everyone has to wait for America to reopen. Those that refuse to stay at home are ironically prolonging the closures that so vex them. Because of them, lives are lost, the economy suffers more and they will not be able to book those precious hair appointments soon. It’s a simple choice: make the right one.
Lea este artículo en español aquí: https://laplaza.press/2020/05/17/opinion-stay-at-home-2/