Protests Supporting Human Rights, Racial Justice Defy Social Distancing Measures Meant To Prevent Novel Coronavirus Spread

IPS: Is the Fight for Human Rights & Racial Justice Overriding the Coronavirus Risk?
“The deadly coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed the lives of over 372,000 people worldwide, has reinforced the concept of ‘social distancing’ … In the U.S., guidelines laid down by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are loudly clear: ‘limit face-to-face contact, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people. Do not gather in groups. And stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.’ But all those warnings have been unceremoniously jettisoned as hundreds and thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets in several cities, including in Hong Kong, Argentina, Lebanon, Brazil, Israel, Ukraine, and India, and most recently in the U.S. and U.K. … The defiant stand has triggered the question: is the fight for human rights and racial justice overriding coronavirus threats — even as thousands have participated in demonstrations violating stay-at-home orders and stoking fears of a sharp increase in infections upending virus control efforts?…” (Deen, 6/2).

NPR: Protesting Racism Versus Risking COVID-19: ‘I Wouldn’t Weigh These Crises Separately’
“Mass protests that have erupted over police brutality toward black people in America are raising concerns about the risk of spreading the coronavirus. But some health experts, even as they urge caution, said they support the demonstrations — because racism also poses a dire health threat…” (Chappell, 6/1).

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