The US debate over restrictions for fighting the coronavirus intensified on Monday as protesters labeled mandatory lockdowns as “tyranny” even while medical workers and health experts cautioned that lifting them too soon risked unleashing a greater disaster.
Many protesters were sceptical about the actual scale of the pandemic, accusing political leaders of over-reaching.
“All the projections were wrong, but we are still telling people to stay home and businesses to close. This is not quarantine, this is tyranny,” said Mark Cooper, a 61-year-old retired truck driver.
Others portrayed the stay-at-home measures as essential to save lives.
Yetta Timothy, who was part of a counter-protest in Harrisburg, said the nursing home where she worked had lost an untold number of patients.
“They are dying everyday,” said the 43-year-old nurse, crying and holding a sign that read: “My life is on the line.”
“I just can't believe all of this is happening, that they want to go back to work,” she said.
Header image: A protester holds a placard during a protest against Ohio's stay-at-home order to help slow the spread of the coronavirus on April 20. — Reuters