Opinion: Social distancing laws are necessary


Molly Killian, Lifestyles Editor

As Americans are spending more and more time in quarantine, many people have begun feeling that the social distancing regulations are not worth it. A few have begun protesting the regulations. Breaking the social distancing laws through any means— especially protesting— is very dangerous. It puts many people in danger of getting exposed to COVID-19 and could make the quarantine go on even longer. The social distancing laws were put in place to protect Americans. They are saving lives and are completely necessary. 

Defying social distancing laws is very dangerous, and in the case of the “Operation Gridlock” protest on April 15, directly prohibits people from getting medical assistance.  At “Operation Gridlock”, protesters decided to drive around the capitol building and honk their horns. This protest caused unnecessary traffic that resulted in shift change issues at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. This means that some healthcare workers had to work for even more time on their already long and exhausting shift. This extra-long shift means that healthcare workers would be even more tired which could debilitate their work. The protesters were also honking their horns which disturbed the COVID-19 patients that were already in a lot of pain. 

The entrances for emergency vehicles were also blocked. This means that people who were on the brink of death could not get into the hospital to get medical care. Paramedics can only do so much; it is important that people who are facing a medical emergency get into a hospital as quickly as possible, and the protesters stopped that from happening.   

“It’s that kind of irresponsible action that puts us in this situation where we might have to actually think about extending stay-at-home orders, which is supposedly what they are protesting,” Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in an interview with MSNBC.

One of the reasons why we are taking so many precautions is because COVID-19 is very dangerous. Many people who have tested positive for COVID-19 were asymptomatic which means that anybody could have the virus and be spreading it to thousands of people without knowing, and some of the people they are spreading it to could be immunocompromised. 

Also, many younger people think that they are invincible to COVID-19 because they are not elderly and do not have an underlying condition, but many of these people do have an underlying condition— damaged lungs from vaping. About 27 percent of high school students vape, and all of those two million teenage vapers that think that they are invincible are actually at a high risk of dying from COVID-19 because it is a disease that attacks the lungs.  

Protect the immunocompromised by staying home. Stay home so that people don’t have to lose their daughter, grandpa or father. In the interview with MSNBC, Whitmer said it best when she said, “We’ve got to save lives. Every life matters.”