Photo Credit to: Caleb Lunetta/ The Signal
As reported this past week, 21,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on June 1st alone, with a daily average of 20,550 new cases between May 25th and June 1st. With the increase in protests amid the death of George Floyd, health officials are concerned these demonstrations are a breeding ground for a second wave.
In New York, positive cases of Coronavirus reached 375,133 this week, with 204,406 cases in New York City alone. These statistics are a major concern for the hundreds of healthcare workers who are still shaken by the initial surge of the virus that shut down the city for over 2 months. Dr. Martha Feldmesser, the chief of infectious diseases at Lenox Hill Hospital told Newsweek, “Watching large groups of protesters concerns me very much in light of the current pandemic and all of the effort that has been required to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV2…Even for those trying to wear masks properly, chanting loudly may increase droplet production and dissemination, resulting in increased spread through contact.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo urged protesters to get tested for Coronavirus during a news conference on Thursday, “One person can infect hundreds… if you were at a protest, go get a test please. The protesters have a civic duty here also.” UCLA Health released guidelines for both protestors and law enforcement to follow to prevent the contraction and spread of Coronavirus. In addition to wearing masks and following a 6-foot distance rule, health officials are also asking protesters to self-quarantine from family members after returning from protesting. It is recommended to all of those who have been in public to get tested for both the virus and antibodies, even if asymptomatic.
There have been additional concerns that the use of tear gas and pepper spray can exacerbate the spread, as it causes those affected by it to cough, spit, cry, and sneeze, which can easily spread to others who are either nearby or coming to aid.
Let us know below your thoughts on a potential second wave and how it may affect the protests.
Do you think the Protests are worth risking another wave of Coronavirus?