Will these Protests Bring on the Second Wave? Or Something Else Entirely?

Image courtesy of Phil Roeder
Des Moines Protests George Floyd Murder
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Well over a thousand people gathered in downtown Des Moines, joining other protests around the country demanding justice over the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. After the organized protest, some people went on to confront police and damage nearby businesses.

Here we are on the fourth day of protests in New York City over the George Floyd Murder at the hands of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. As per Governor Andrew Cuomo the city is set for its Phase One reopening on June 8.

So, here’s the question. With multitudes of protesters having hit the streets en masse, will there be an increase in COVID-19 confirmed cases?

It’d appear that many if not most of these individuals were wearing face coverings of some kind; at least from what we could gather through videos offered up on social media and by the news outlets. Yet, a great many of these people were extraordinarily close to each other; surely more so than the suggested six feet.

But then, does social distancing even matter anymore? The Governor’s attitude on the coming wave of commuters on our transportation system seems to indicate that clean train cars and face coverings should be enough.

Maybe it is. However, If you’re in a crowd of folks with masks of some kind and everyone’s yelling, are you still safe? What about if you’re coming in close enough contact with some of these folks?

Bigger questions circling in my head revolve around whether there’ll be any uptick in cases. New York City’s depending upon keeping cases and hospital admissions within a certain level so’s to qualify for a Phase One reopening. Just as other New York regions are counting on keeping those levels down so’s to not lose their Phase One status, and be able to enter Phase Two.

‘and it’s not just about regular New Yorkers. It’s also about all the enforcement personnel involved with these protests. Not just in NYC but also within those cities across the nation with similar protests.

We’ve no idea how many people were involved locally or nationwide for that matter. Seeing aerial and ground footage from various hotspots in New York, the wildest guess I could fathom has me guessing it to be in the tens of thousands total; if not hundreds.

What if, there were to be no rise in the number of infections? Might that embolden people to quickly flaunt the advisement of public health officials? Would many then begin shunning any sort of protective behavior? Would that sort of scenario then, in turn, bring about a rise in cases?

Then there are the conspiracy theorists to think about on the national level. What if the entire country’s stats didn’t reveal any rise due to these protests? I can easily imagine theories popping up all around as to how we’ve been lied to. How all these warnings were overblown and how this economy was needlessly wrecked. Imagine all the many who’ve lost their livelihoods, businesses and more. What might their responses be like? To think (not based upon fact, but rather perception) that all they’ve lost was due to a farce and not as disastrous an emergency as it was made out to be.

Such is what revolutions and uprising are made of.

We humans are a fickle bunch. Just as we’ll teeter and totter from one political appointee to another, we’ll just as well change our collective public opinions; of course at a more swift pace.