Minimize harm, protest safely

Krys Shahin, Editor-in-Chief / @Krysshah

While Americans have every right to defend their first amendment rights, those protesting during a pandemic are doing so in an unsafe and detrimental way. 

If you decide to protest, be smart. Don’t attack law enforcement: wear a mask, keep science in mind and understand that guidelines have been put into place by health officials for a reason. Just stay six feet away from other people protesting. 

Dozens of people are flocking onto the steps of the Capitol to demand answers but don’t have masks on. They are failing to respect social distancing orders and we do not know where they are coming from to protest. Perhaps some people feel so strongly about this that they drive up from San Francisco, or down from Chico to protest. 

They are gathering, creating a hotbed for the novel Coronavirus and then taking it back home with them, effectively spreading the virus much further than it would have gone had they stayed inside and respected state and county orders.  

Americans have the right to protest, especially when they feel as though their elected representatives are not doing their job at representing the constituents that put them in their role. However, the right to free speech and to peacefully protest does not include endangering society as a whole. 

Those who are protesting without proper mandated equipment should be penalized, not for protesting, but rather for not following county or state guidelines that explicitly state that failure to follow them will result in fine or imprisonment. 

You can and should exert the right to protest, just be sure to be smart.