As COVID-19 spikes again, Ohio is scrambling to find a way to make public health sustainable once again through computer screens and social distancing.
Gov. Mike DeWine shared that new measures may taken if the spread does not slow. He has also implemented a nightly curfew beginning at 10 p.m. This means they would shut down bars, businesses, fitness centers and schools once again. This has many Ohioans anxious another lockdown may be on the way.
These precautions could be avoided if proper sanitary measures are taken.
However, Ohio has not been holding up its end of the bargain. Social events occur every weekend, masks are being worn below the nose or not at all, students are back in their local schools and college students have made their way back to college campuses.
Lessons were thought to have been learned the first time around, but Americans cannot stay home. Their dire need for normalcy becomes too overwhelming to think of the public good.
On March 19, DeWine issued a statewide lockdown. In recent days, due to rising cases today in schools and having kids in close quarters, some Ohio schools have been forced to make the decision to shut down their schools for the well-being of the students and faculty. These decisions are near the same ones made nearly six months ago.
Undoubtedly, this surge in cases will not be good for the economy, businesses will be shut down and towns will go back to desolate state — or so they should.
There has been pushback because no one wants to see a failing economy. But how are we going to see a successful community if a large portion of people are not willing to follow masked guidelines?
Throughout the first lockdown, there were protests all around Ohio, specifically at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. People held up signs refusing to be kept in their houses. Little did they know that we would be moving backwards nearly six months later.
Irony prevailed during these past protests when DeWine said they were allowed as long as they were socially distanced. This made matters difficult because protesting while social distancing is near impossible.
More concerning, these protests have been used as a platform for right-wing extremist groups like the Proud Boys, Patriot Prayer, the Three Percenters and others. These militia groups have integrated themselves into the protests in Ohio and around the country.
This was painfully apparent when Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer faced some extreme backlash for her handling of COVID-19. As she became one of President Trump’s biggest adversaries, she faced an alarming run in with protestors.
Thirteen protestors plotted this summer to kidnap her. These protestors planned to kidnap her due to her disagreement with Trump’s legislation and her contradicting procedure dealing with the virus. Alarmingly, they had met and trained in Ohio.
Amy Acton, the former director of the Ohio Department of Health, was met with hate, threats and even armed protests outside her home in the midst of Ohio’s lockdown. Sadly, she was driven to step down, but there will be another target for angry anti-lockdown Ohioans if restrictions resume.
These extremes are, regrettably, a reality. These protestors were essentially so upset with an outcome that did not even affect them directly that they felt a need to take action.
The question waiting to be asked: What kind of unrest should be expected if a lockdown occurs a second time?
Inevitably, protests will commence. The turbulence of these protests stems from the anarchy desired from a population of citizens. These citizens will most likely be the same ones who fought against a lockdown earlier this year.
DeWine, hopefully, will have a different outlook on these protests because if they continue, COVID-19 will continue to spread.
Schools will most likely switch to remote learning and continue to keep children away from big gatherings. Universities will do the same, but keeping college students away from gatherings is harder than it sounds. Education will continue to be a back and forth battle, but for the good of the faulty and students, online learning is the best choice.
Nonetheless, these daunting measures don’t only pertain to Ohio. States such as Michigan, California and Washington faced pushback during protests this summer as well. Protests could be in the near future due to a certain event that just took place.
The 2020 election already created civil unrest in the past few weeks. Tension is high in America, and with one side of America struggling to find peace with the election, things could become more violent than before. Extremist groups have found a home in the lockdown and election protests, and tensions could reach a boiling point.
Civil disturbance is inevitable. Trump wants to reopen the states to pre-pandemic times, but death and suffering could join these procedures hand-in-hand.
Like the results of the election, COVID-19 is not going anywhere. COVID-19 is a disease, not an election hoax. In simple terms, the numbers of COVID-19 cases are increasing, but the fear of the disease is decreasing.
A lockdown is in the foreseeable future if mandatory precautions are not taken seriously.
Kayla Bennett is a freshman studying journalism. Please note that the views and ideas of columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Kayla? Tweet her @kkayyben.