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Ever since the Covid-19 outbreak, people were advised to wear masks and take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of this disease. Many people refused to heed this advice, and governments had no other choice but to enforce laws that made it mandatory. In retaliation, protests broke out all over the USA, where people protested against the Covid-19 lockdowns and the rules enforced. ‘My body, my choice’ was the common slogan found on protestors signs, and a face mask soon became a symbol of protest. More than half of the world’s population had lost their jobs or had to work from home, but yet Americans felt like it was a personal attack on them.
What Caused This Sentiment?
The death toll worldwide has exceeded a staggering 543,595 with 11.8 million confirmed cases. So, why are people protesting wearing a simple piece of cloth on their faces? If they are choosing to remain free agents above the law, no one else is responsible if they contract the virus. For those individuals looking to remain safe, it’s a selfish decision to put everyone else at risk.
Perhaps the reason they refuse to comply is because they believe it is a personal attack on their individual freedom. It is justified to retaliate against dictatorship or a law that restricts their ability to choose, but protesting against a law that aims to protect civilians seems counterproductive. This behavior stems from the way the government and police officers handle public protection measures against the virus.
(Image from www.vox.com)
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Police officers are only ready to serve and reinforce the law when they see civilians refusing to abide by it. Ironically, they are often found without masks themselves. It appears that police departments allow officers to wear masks when they see fit. Matters are exacerbated by the fact that president Trump frequently appears in public without a face mask, and despite government mandates, he believes doing so remains to be ‘his choice’. As a consequence of his contradictory behavior, people respond by rebelling against these ‘so-called’ laws. Protestors and oppositionists fail to cooperate when they see the government and state level authorities turn a blind eye.
Health experts and other officials are becoming increasingly concerned that the insurgence may cause a spike in Covid-19 cases, due to thousands attending the protests. In reaction to this, President Trump and other government officials have urged protest attendees to not only wear masks. On the other hand, Trump also encouraged self-expression in conjunction with social distancing. The latest tests showed no abnormal increases in cases. In fact, cases are changed minimally despite the massive protests.
Eventually, the protests died down, and people admitted that the nation was left in ruins and that the protests served no purpose. Despite their initial reaction to rebel, the protests have stopped, but people still aren’t understanding how dire the situation is.
What’s Going Wrong?
Although some people are oblivious when it comes to the pandemic, others are just frustrated and struggling to adjust to the new normal. Many people remain unemployed and cannot afford to feed their families, while others refuse to acknowledge that the disease exists. The latter are often healthy and young adults that suffer from ‘optimism bias,’ and they underestimate their chances to contract the virus. However, early data has demonstrated that elderly people or those who have co-occurring medical conditions are at greater risk, which only fueled their bias further. Being young does not mean they are protected from contraction.
On the contrary, some millennials have expressed their frustrations on social media that the older generation has not followed necessary precautions. Young adults are often found worrying and complaining about their parents who feel that they won’t let this virus get the best of them while they continue their daily activities as though they are invincible. They seem to believe that this crisis will soon pass, so they should continue to live in happiness.
Why Does Disgust For the Virus Continue?
Extension and continuation of quarantine:
Studies show that those who are quarantined for long periods exhibit poor mental health and post-traumatic stress symptoms.
Fear of Virus Spread:
Eight studies reported participants that were afraid of getting infecting or infecting their family members when quarantined.
Monotony leading to frustration:
The major reasons for distress among participants included confinement, an adjustment from their usual routine, and lack of social and physical contact. The frustration was further intensified by not being able to participate in daily activities like shopping, dining out, and meeting up with friends.
Another primary source of frustration was the lack of supplies. This sentiment soon turned into anger within the next four to six months as medical care became more difficult to obtain.
Lack of Access to Protection:
Four studies showed that many participants received their masks, gloves, and thermometers extremely late, and some didn’t receive them at all.
Insufficient Information Released:
Many participants reported a lack of transparency from their public health authorities and officials. They were left to expect the worst and eventually became depressed because they weren’t informed of the purpose of quarantine and the levels of risks.
The Impact of Covid-19 Post-Quarantine
The most significant impact that the world has faced is unemployment and reduced access to work. With the loss of jobs and the number of people taking breaks from the world, people aren’t sure what the future holds for them. Financial loss is one of the greatest tragedies the world will have to deal with, and the second in line is poor mental health. People have already developed a sense of isolation from the world, and many health experts are worried that individuals may not recover from this. Social distancing has become the new normal. For some, depression may have already taken a strong hold of them. For others, remember to keep your head up and move forward by remaining positive. Although the way we communicate has drastically changed, it is important to remain hopeful for a better future.