Last Friday, Donald Trump posted a series of tweets inciting what some may call civil unrest in order to get states to reopen for business. In true Trump fashion, the president wasn’t very presidential, as he called Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia to “LIBERATE,” therefore encouraging his supporters to protest their state’s stay-at-home orders, and he also called the protestors “very responsible people.” In return, his supporters have taken to the streets in various cities across the country to protest closures and demand their cities reopen.
Over the weekend, in San Diego and San Clemente, Calif., about 300 people came out in droves with signs that read “Open Our Beaches,” “Let Me Be Free,” “Freedom Is Essential” and “The Media Is the Virus.” Although the protestors were prevalent, the protective masks were not.
These protests only prove two things: Trump supporters are not the brightest lightbulbs in the sockets, and it seems as though he’s trying to kill off his voting base. Imagine being ignorant enough to head out into large crowds knowing that you’re putting your lives (and your family’s) in danger? Imagine being dumb enough to not practice the recommended social distancing guidelines recommended by medical professionals.
Does Trump not realize his supporters’ ages skew towards the population that’s been dying from the virus? According to a 2016 Pew study, 60 percent of his supporters are between the ages of 50 and 64. You’d think these people would want to make sure their health remains intact so their vote counts in the upcoming election. Hell, you’d think Trump would tell them all to stay home. But as with many things in life, herd mentality runs rampant. And with how easily the virus is being spread, just think of how many people were infected during the protests in San Clemente and San Diego.
“In Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak, it was estimated that each person was exposed to COVID-19 had up to 45 contacts they could have infected whether they were symptomatic or not. With a rally of 100 people in San Clemente, we’re now up to a possible 4500 people those protesters could have potentially infected,” Dr. Imani Walker, a Los Angeles physician, told ESSENCE.
In addition to the possible number of infections that could take place, Walker also sympathized with the fact that people are ready to get back to a normal life, but there’s never been a time when the phrase “too soon” meant so much more.
“Being isolated from a daily routine is disruptive at the least and difficult at worst. Humans are social creatures and are not used to limiting their socializing with others. Mental illness has increased during this pandemic as depression and anxiety worsen especially with those who had a history of these disorders. Being given an excuse to go outside by the leader of this country is tempting but may eventually lead to possible irreversible Coronavirus symptoms such as loss of smell and taste or possibly death,” Walker stated.
The question remains, does Trump not care about his “fan” base. If he doesn’t, why should we? The next headline you’ll see coming out of Orange County, Calif., over the next couple of weeks will no doubt be about the rise in their number of corona cases. But in the words of Forest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does.”