Anti-lockdown protests continue to gather momentum across the U.S. as people flood the streets, ignoring social distancing rules. Even though some states are beginning to ease restrictions, most of the country remains under some form of stay-at-home order, which is making protestors call for America to 'reopen' immediately.
Some critics think Donald Trump is to blame. Last week, the President posted a series of tweets, urging everyone to 'liberate' Minnesota, Michigan, and Virginia and said the 2nd Amendment's under siege.
Protests have erupted in over a dozen states from coast to coast. Here are some of the signs that were spotted there.
Demonstrations have occurred in Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, Minnesota, Utah, Virginia, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Oregon, Maryland, Idaho, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Washington, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. These states are led by both Republican and Democratic governors.
The crowds have varied in size quite a bit: from a few dozen protesters in Virginia and Oregon to thousands of people in Michigan and Washington state. The latter saw one of the largest demonstrations, with about 2,500 protesters gathering at the capital in Olympia. The state was the early epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.
In some places, these anti-lockdown demonstrations spawned counter protests. For example, in Colorado, healthcare workers blocked traffic at crossroads.
Reportedly, the organizers of these protests have largely been conservative, pro-Trump and pro-gun activists. Many of these demonstrations have been described as reminiscent of Trump campaign events, carrying pro-Trump banners, t-shirts, and signs. Some of them were even calling for freedom over tyranny and comparing governors to dictators.
However, it looks like the protests represent just a small fraction of people. Last week, a Pew poll found that 66% of US adults say their greater concern is that state governments will lift restrictions too quickly, rather than not quickly enough.
Also, US public health experts and many state leaders have continued to highlight the importance of social distancing, arguing in favor of the measures protesters have taken issue with.
Political things aside, it's normal that some feel as if the quarantine is becoming an increasingly heavier burden. Counselor and psychotherapist Tati Silva told Bored Panda that the pandemic can bring a sense of loss: "People feel unstable because they don't know what is going on, panic and fear come to place." Silva warned that this might lead to people developing depression, panic attacks, and anxiety.
If that is the case, it's important one takes care of their mental wellbeing during these difficult times. "Exercise if you can," Silva advised. "It will boost your mood. Set up buddy groups -- friends or family to do regular checking in with people. Distract yourself -- writing down your thoughts and feelings can help offload any worries and fear you may have."
And remember to be kind to yourself. "Don't overload yourself, thinking that you should be taking all the courses available online, learning 2 to 3 languages, and reading one book a day. That will make you feel overwhelmed. I also suggest that you pick one new thing every week to do, so your brain can get excited about the week to come."