Covid-19 cases have been on a downward trend in some states for several weeks now. However, with the recent protests over the murder of George Floyd, we may see a resurgence of the deadly virus. Over 100,000 people in the United States have succumbed to the Covid-19 illness, with more deaths occurring every day.
Covid-19 has an incubation period of around 14 days. With protests happening every single day, and the attendance of those protests being in the thousands, this could lead to an enormous outbreak.
Is there a risk?
People may be playing down the risk of the virus due to protesting being outdoors. However, while there is less chance of getting it while outdoors, you may be more at risk. When protestors are out, they are not able to do proper social distancing due to the enormity of the crowd. Police officers trying to take hold of the situation are using tear gas and pepper spray. Tear gas and pepper spray will make you cough. If you have the virus, when you start coughing, you are spreading the virus to the crowd.
It is easy to say that someone does not look sick. You could be sitting next to someone right now with the Covid-19 virus and not even know it. A third of people with this virus are asymptomatic. The virus is easily spread by those that do not have any symptoms that they are sick.
Another issue that may lead to an increase in the virus is that many protestors are being arrested and placed in jail. Over 5,600 people have been arrested. If one person has the virus and goes to jail, they may expose the entire jail system to the coronavirus, making a resurgence possible.
Testing issues have plagued the entire world. There have not been enough tests to go around, and many people are untested. People may not have severe enough symptoms to warrant getting tested, or their state may not have enough tests to go around. So, we could still be dealing with many people who have the virus that are going to these protests.
Lessons from History
In 1918, the flu pandemic saw a second wave due to a military parade. The flu virus had leveled off by September, so the city of Philadelphia thought it was safe to host their military parade. The crowd number was over 200,000. Within six weeks, more than 12,000 people had lost their lives.
Health officials and government state officials are urging people to stay at home to avoid this virus. If people do go out to protest, they need to try and maintain six feet away from anyone else and wear a face mask. Using hand sanitizer frequently is also important. Anyone that has been to a protest should get tested to ensure that they do not have Covid-19.
If you are out protesting, you may want to consider quarantining yourself for 14 days. You never know if you have been exposed to the virus. This is especially true if you have elderly loved ones in the home. They are more susceptible to illness and more at risk. If you can get tested and show that you do not have the virus, you do not have to worry about quarantining. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your loved ones.
If protests continue to go on as they have been for the past week, we can more than likely expect to see some resurgence of the Covid-19 virus. Protect yourself by staying home, and if you go out, use a mask, use hand sanitizer, and wash your hands. If you think you have been exposed, get tested as soon as possible and self-quarantine for two weeks.
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