Long Island News Post Published on May, 7th 2020
Written by Nick P
Long Island Protests Ensure as Economy Remains Closed
As the quarantine period due to COVID-19 continues people are starting to get fed up with having to remain home from work. Although there have been over 1,700 deaths in Nassau County and over 1,100 are in Suffolk County NY, people feel as if the economy has been closed for too long and have begun to demonstrate their discontent.
On Friday May 1st, crowds gathered in Commack to voice their opinion on the status of the reopening process, one that hast started on Long Island. Organizers of the protest explained that the protest was to show support for both big and small Long Island business owners who have had their rights violated by these regulations that are preventing them from working.
The protest in Commack took place on the corner of Jericho Turnpike and Veterans Memorial Highway. Supporters came out boasting American flags as well as other various Donald Trump “Make America Great Again” signs, shirts, hats, and other gear.
The state has put a benchmark system in place that will determine the safety of reopening the area. The benchmark system will work alongside a four phase system of reopening industries based off perceived risk and reward.
Although many people in the protest demanded the economy be reopened immediately, there were some other opinions on how the situation should be handled.
One protester who works in construction explained how he would like to see the economy slowly reopened over time but came out to the protest to show support for local business owners.
A cause of both concern and criticism for bystanders was the lack of masks and social distancing precautions taken by the crowd. However, it is safe to assume these people are not concerned with the risk of catching Coronavirus if they are willing to go back to work immediately. Suffolk Police were also on the scene observing the protest. When asked about enforcing Social Distancing, the police said they enforce it “On a Case By Case Basis.”
The 13 Supervisors of the Long Island Townships held an online meeting on May 1st to discuss the process of reopening parks, the status of beaches, and other public outdoor locations for the summer months.
Rich Schaffer who is the Supervisor for the Town of Babylon stated “We are going to have a summer. It's going to be a lot different. A lot of us are going to look a little weird with a sunburn around our masks”. Long Islanders forgive Schaffer for his bad joke, as we must do everything we can to prevent the new normal that seems to be being forced upon us.
Protests Aren't Just Happening on Long Island
Although Commack just 1 week ago made the Long Island News headlines, it is not the only place where people are voicing their discomfort. There have been multiple recent protests in the state of Michigan, where locals are fed up with being forced to stay home.
Many protesters carried signs exclaiming Free Michigan and others even carried firearms. Signs were spotted exclaiming to the government Your Killing Small Businesses!
Like the protest seen in Commack, many protesters did not have a mask on and were not concerned with catching or spreading the Coronavirus. Some protesters with a mask on explained when interviewed that although the virus itself is real, local policymakers are causing more harm by keeping people at home than the virus itself.
If these protests signal anything, it's that it seems the entire country is growing tired of the enforced regulations keeping businesses closed and people at home.
Americans are ready to get back to life as we know it, and not the new normal that is being teased by officials and policymakers.
Will Protests Help Reopen the Economy?
As you might expect, protests will likely not accomplish much besides bring attention to the current situation, as New York is following a multi-phase reopening process to bring back the economy. There are a series of benchmarks that must be met to even start Phase 1 of the reopening process, and it looks more and more unlikely that Long Island will not meet the criteria to begin opening up the first section of the economy by May 15th.
In case you missed the briefing from NY Governor Cuomo, the four phases are outlined below:
- Phase 1: Construction, manufacturing and wholesale supply chain, select retail with curbside pickup
- Phase 2: Professional services, finance and insurance, retail administrative support, real estate/rental leasing
- Phase 3: Restaurants/food services, hotels/accommodations
- Phase 4: Arts/entertainment/recreation/education
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Long Island News Post Published May 7th, 2020
Written by Nick P
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