The Selfishness of COVID-19 Protesters

It isn’t about your right to gather, it’s about your neighbor’s right to live

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The selfishness of the people who are protesting the lock down rules is unbelievable to me.

I understand that you are tired of being quarantined.

Everyone is.

Of course you wish that your old life was back, your job was back, your stores were open, sports were happening, etc.

You might even think to yourself, I don’t care if I get sick. Great. Good for you.

But news flash, it isn’t about you.

You don’t exist in a vacuum. We can’t send all of the anti-social distancing people to their own little bubble world and let them try to survive their radical existence there.

When you, an individual, decide that you are going to socialize with whoever you would like because you have rights, you are injuring the people in the world around you with those rights.

Let’s invent imaginary character Mark.

Mark wishes the world was the way it used to be before there was a pandemic. He believes he is invincible. He probably doesn’t spend much time around elderly, people with pre-existing conditions or health care workers.

So despite the orders given in his state, he decides he is going to keep hanging out with his friends, getting together in public places, and even joining large crowds to protest all of his rights that are being squashed by the government. He says it is his choice.

From one of these many gatherings, he now has COVID-19. Because the world isn’t fair, he happens to be an asymptomatic case. Good for him, bad for the rest of his community.

Mark continues to order take out, walk around his neighborhood without a mask on, go grocery shopping, hang out with friends, and go to more protests.

Because he has the right to live however he chooses.

But the take out person has a spouse with pre-existing conditions, and has been as careful as he can be, but has to pay the bills. Mark shared his “freedom” with the take out guy… who brings it home… and his spouse dies.

The grocery clerk has also tried to be careful… but Mark shared his “freedom” with her too, and she brought it home to her older mother who lives with her… and her mother dies.

When he shared his “freedom” to move around with other protesters, 100 of them got sick, because Mark didn’t care, stayed close to everyone and again, refused to wear any kind of mask. These protesters said they didn’t care. Fine.

But now the local hospital is overwhelmed with all of these cases, plus all of the cases sparked from these cases.

At the hospital, after treating this swarm of new cases in the city, these protesters and their “freedom to assemble” rally are the primary cause of death for 5 healthcare workers. These workers had families who were hoping and praying for their health care worker moms and dads, daughters and sons to be safe, but since you had to protest, now they are mourning instead.

Every time I see these protests, I get so frustrated at the short sighted selfishness of the protesters.

I have no problem with you wanting to express your rights. I understand that you are frustrated.

Yet, how can you so negligently forget that you don’t live in a bubble?

That your spreading the virus doesn’t just affect you, it affects everyone around you. It affects the health care workers, many of them who don’t even live with their families right now, just to keep their loved ones safe.

To me, it is second degree murder.

Maybe only a percentage dies with this disease, but if you spread it unknowingly, and others die because of it, that is on your head. Even if you never get sick.

With our imaginary character Mark, he was the cause of death for take out guy’s wife, grocery clerk’s mom, and at least 5 healthcare workers.

He will probably never know that he killed them either. He doesn’t think about them. He is mad about his gun store, concerts, and his right to be with his friends.

The people he interacted with probably won’t ever know that it was him that caused their worlds to crumble. But they are hurting, and mourning, and these were deaths that didn’t have to happen.

The lock downs are not for individuals.

No government tells the people to stay home so that the individual person is safe- it is for the community. Most governments these days respect that you have personal, individual rights.

But your neighborhood and the people around you have rights too. The health care workers have rights too.

I once heard in a class that you have the right to punch, until it hits someone else’s face. Because that person also has the right to be safe.

If you want to exercise your right to be free, and be with others, be my guest.

Rules to protest without infringing on others’ rights to be safe:

  • Rent a house, and stay in it, as a whole protest group.
  • Don’t order take out.
  • Don’t go to the grocery store.
  • If one of you in the group brought COVID-19 with you, you better just tough it out and hope to survive. Don’t you dare bring your mistake to the hospital and ask for any assistance there. They are too busy trying to save those who got sick while trying to be careful.

If you aren’t willing to follow those rules, then I hope you can acknowledge that your protest is selfish, and is most likely bringing harm and death to others besides yourself and your fellow protesters.

Better yet, I hope you rethink your protests. Every lock down is in place to protect people’s lives.

Think about that.

Written by

I am a teacher, with two kids, recently diagnosed with Lupus, and possibly other auto-immune conditions, living life to the fullest, while managing symptoms.

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