photo credit: Claudio Divizia // Shutterstock
Today in Raleigh, police had to break out a #ReopenNC protest. Dozens of people gathered in downtown Raleigh outside of the legislative building to protest the stay-at-home order. They wore red, white and blue while waving American flags. Since these stay-at-home orders have been passed throughout the country by many governors, businesses have been shut down and more than 7 million people are out of work.
The order, issued March 27 by Gov. Roy Cooper, prohibits gatherings of 10 or more people, closes businesses not considers “essential,” and asks people to stay home other than trips to buy groceries, pick up prescriptions, visit a health care provider, exercise, care for family members, volunteer to serve the needy or visit a place of worship.
About an hour in, Raleigh police determined there were too many people too close together and asked them to disperse. One woman refused and was taken away in handcuffs.
“I am so proud of us,” said Ashley Smith, a Boone business owner and co-founder of the Facebook group called ReopenNC. “We will continue to work day and night until our governor opens up for business.” The group, which already has more than 22,000 followers, feels the government’s reaction to the coronavirus has been overly restrictive.
Smith feels the decision to open or close a business, or go shopping, should be left up to individuals. She said, “I believe that North Carolinians are intelligent enough to make their own decisions on social distancing and their own healthcare choices.”
In order for the state to be reopened, several factors need to go into that decision, like a consistent downward trend in cases, increased testing and tracing capabilities, and ensuring healthcare can handle a possible surge in cases.