Protesters have reason to be concerned

Despite protests, Gov. Walz is correct in his procedures


Tobias Khabie

When Minnesotans took to the streets of St. Paul to protest Governor Tim Walz’s stay at home order after being prompted by President Trump, I dismissed these protesters as nothing more than irrational. However, the issues being protested are ones we should all be aware of.

There’s no doubt that staying home and quarantining per Gov. Walz’s order is stopping the spread of COVID-19. Minnesota is doing a remarkable job social distancing, seeing a 46% drop in average distance traveled per person, according to KARE 11. Because of this, Minnesota has the 4th lowest cases per 100 residents of all US states, behind Alaska, Montana and Hawaii.

However, businesses and non-essential workers have suffered greatly, resulting in cuts to paychecks and an increase in unemployment. According to CBS, there have been more than 450,000 applicants for unemployment in Minnesota. Even those who haven’t suffered pay cuts or job losses are frustrated by the shutdowns across the state, as they feel some rights have been stripped from them. Additionally, we could be heading for another Great Depression due to severe job losses and blows to the economy, according to CNN.

These are all valid arguments that Gov. Walz is taking into consideration. In fact, he has actually initiated the process to reopen the state already, according to Star Tribune. However, this doesn’t mean we can all go back to normal right away, which has angered many of the protesters, and rightfully so. After all, one of the United States’ core principles is liberty, and the stay at home order could be viewed as being stripped of our liberties.

Regardless of the mounting negatives of the shutdown, Gov. Walz is doing the right thing. As important as our economy and our liberties are, the well-being and health of Minnesotans should be and is the highest priority for Gov. Walz.

Despite Minnesota’s relatively low number of confirmed cases, there has not been a decrease in the number of cases yet, so it is still not safe to reopen the state. In fact, April 17, the first day of the protests, ironically marked the largest one day increase in the number of confirmed cases.

In these unprecedented times, Gov. Walz is doing the best he can to ensure Minnesotans get through the shutdown. Obviously we won’t escape the consequences, as we’ve already seen our economy take serious blows, as well as deaths in the triple digits. However, we are in a much better position than most states while under Gov. Walz’s management and I expect this exceptional leadership to continue.