How to Protest During a Pandemic
Local health officials offers do's and don'ts that could save your life.
During a media briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic, local officials stressed that it remains important for protesters to follow social distancing guidelines as best they can while they march through town.
As City of Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik put it, “We’re dealing with a crisis within a crisis… The fact of the matter is COVID-19 is here, it’s a pandemic.” And now, the crisis of racism is being illuminated by the massive uprising of protests over the killing of George Floyd and police brutality, bringing thousands into the streets.
“We’re in double crisis mode, right now,” she said, “dealing with COVID and also dealing with racism.” And there have been many questions, she said, “about risk and people deciding about whether they were gonna go out and take a stand for not only the now but the future, knowing that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is high especially when you’re congregated.”
Dr. Ben Weston, director of medical services for Milwaukee County, said “It’s important as ever to be safe and mindful of our ongoing pandemic. Exercising the essential right to demonstrate and speak freely does not have to be mutually exclusive from maintaining safety in the time of COVID-19.”
Weston said some precautions protesters can take include wearing a mask at all times, staying outdoors, continuously moving and maintaining several feet of distance from one another. Kowalik encouraged making sure your mask fits properly, and bringing hand sanitizer to ensure proper hand hygiene.
The City of Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention has been at the protests handing out Personal Protective Equipment. Director Reggie Moore said its staff have passed out more than 900 masks during the protests.
Leaders and health officials also encouraged protesters and residents to continue to take advantage of the community testing sites at UMOS, 2701 S. Chase Ave. on the South Side and now at a new one on the North Side at the Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education at 5075 N. Sherman Blvd.
Said Crowley: “If there are individuals who were out protesting and do feel symptomatic, please do not wait to call your doctor, get tested, please call 211 to find the testing site near you.”
If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.
- Evers Reflects on Year of Pandemic, Protests - Shawn Johnson - Dec 28th, 2020
- The Year of the National Guard - Jenny Peek - Dec 28th, 2020
- Baldwin Questions U.S. Marshall’s Role in Tosa Protests - Isiah Holmes - Dec 19th, 2020
- Op Ed: Vote No on COPS Grant - Markasa Tucker - Dec 18th, 2020
- People’s Revolution Marks 200 Days of Protest - Graham Kilmer - Dec 15th, 2020
- Supervisor Clancy Applauds Activists on 200th Day of Protests - Sup. Ryan Clancy - Dec 14th, 2020
- The “Molotov Cocktail” That Wasn’t - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 23rd, 2020
- City Hall: Police Chief, Alderman Fight Over Use of Canines - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 23rd, 2020
- Will BLM Movement Sway State Voters? - Bridgit Bowden - Oct 20th, 2020
- City Hall: Community Groups Propose Changes - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 19th, 2020
Read more about 2020 Racial Justice Protests here
- WI Daily: 324 New COVID-19 Cases - Urban Milwaukee - Mar 2nd, 2021
- 34 Vaccine Doses Spoil at Wisconsin Center - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 2nd, 2021
- 8.7% of State Now Fully Vaccinated - Graham Kilmer - Mar 2nd, 2021
- Statement from the Milwaukee Health Department - City of Milwaukee Health Department - Mar 2nd, 2021
- Marquette Plans In-Person Classes in Fall - Graham Kilmer - Mar 2nd, 2021
- WI Daily: 308 New COVID-19 Cases - Urban Milwaukee - Mar 1st, 2021
- Wisconsin Anticipates First Shipment of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Mar 1st, 2021
- Marquette University announces in-person plans for fall 2021 semester - Marquette University - Mar 1st, 2021
- Dane County Drops Most Fines Against Dance Studio - Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty - Mar 1st, 2021
- Back in the News: Uline Workers Suffer Higher COVID-19 Rates - Bruce Murphy - Mar 1st, 2021
Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here