Throughout history, America has experienced all forms of protests. From the Boston Tea Party to the Civil Rights Movement, protests dominate the development of the country. Like during most significant events, the COVID-19 pandemic sparked protests, yet these protesters are holding up signs saying something different than “Don’t Tread On Me:” “I Want a Haircut.”
Located primarily in northern states like Pennsylvania and Wyoming, these protests focus on the mandated quarantine. Spreading their message via Facebook, groups such as Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine, believe that “politicians are on a power trip, controlling our lives, destroying our businesses, passing laws behind the cover of darkness and forcing us to hand over our freedoms and our livelihood!”
These protests highlight the disparities existing in the country. As Sara Risley, a Wyoming citizen who viewed such protests said, “If you need a definition of white privilege, here it is. While her neighbors are working long hours trying to save people from dying, this Brookfield protester wants to risk everyone else’s life for a [expletive] haircut.”
In South Florida, Memorial Hospital Miramar was one of the first hospitals to treat a COVID-19 patient. Experiencing firsthand the impacts of this virus, CEO Grisel Fernandez-Bravo explains, “Like many in quarantine, I am also in dire need of a haircut, and although I empathize for those who have lost their jobs and are protesting to open up businesses, this virus is highly contagious and deadly. Unfortunately, the only way to minimize the virus’s impact is by remaining home, under quarantine, obeying social distancing and business closures.”
“I personally believe that as Americans, we have the right to protest whatever we believe in,” Fernandez-Bravo said, “however, during this pandemic, protesters need to educate themselves and fully understand the risk to the public of disease or even death by simply opening up a salon too soon.”
While thousands of people continue to fight for their lives and thousands of healthcare professionals put their lives in danger to save others, protesters fight a different battle, one that’s situated on the top of their heads rather than inside their chests.