The US people are protesting against the Government after the murder of George Floyd. The protest is going on in almost all states and huge crowds of people are participating in it. The health officials fear that the protest may lead to uncontrollable severe spread of the COVID-19.
People participating in the protest are not following the recommended precautions such as social distancing. Some of them are wearing masks but most of the protesters are not wearing masks or taking any one of the safety measures. This can spread the novel coronavirus.
Dr Howard Markel, director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan and an expert on pandemics said “this is the worst possible thing that could happen. It’s hard to know how many of those people are asymptomatic carriers, and that’s really scary.”
What Are Asymptomatic Carriers?
The asymptomatic carriers are the most dangerous infected patients. The virus in such patients is at initial stage. The presence of the virus doesn’t cause any symptoms at these stages. This can be very dangerous as the protestors stay together all the day and can spread the virus from one to another.
There are a lot more chances of spread of coronavirus due to the protest as the virus spreads mainly due to cough and by respiratory particles etc. The police is using teargas to disperse the people. Teargas causes cough and other temporary respiratory problems. This can lead to fast spread of the virus.
There are already 1.88M cases of COVID-19 and 100,000 deaths reported in the United States. US health system is unable to battle with it. The country could not control the deaths even before the protest and now there are more chances of spreading of the virus.
As per the news sources, a policeman killed George Floyd by putting knee on his neck. A study shows that the police violence kills 1 in 1,000 black men in their lifetime. This rate is the same as that of measles.
However, the protesters believe that they understand the consequences of crowds gathering but the cost is worth the gain. Dr Rhea Boyd, pediatrician and masters of public health in minority health policy, said “protests are life-saving for black people in this country. Even though being in the streets increases your risk,” of Covid-19 infection, “we all know that risk exists anyway.”
Now the police has arrested 9,000 protesters. There are no facilities in jails to ensure social distancing. Infection of the COVID-19 in any one of the arrestees will spread the virus in others too.
The protesters know exactly that they are at most risk but according to protesters, fighting police violation is more important for them.
“I think it’s a danger, but some things are worth it,” says 23-year-old Darrell Owens at a protest in Oakland.
“I had to choose which virus poses the biggest threat to my family, friends, and me,” said another protester. “And that’s the police”.