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Lessons learned Societal

Blaming protests for spread of coronavirus ignores larger systemic threats

In this June 3, 2020 article for The Verge, Nicole Wetsman criticizes the narrow focus on the possible increase of COVID-19 cases due to the Black Lives Matter protests [more recent studies have shown that the BLM protests did not fuel increased community transmission of the virus, see Black Lives Matter protests did not lead to spike in coronavirus cases]. She said that there are greater systemic threats which could have bigger impacts on health. 

Various experts have supported Wetsman’s position. In a Twitter post, Dr. Tom Frieden says that the threat to COVID-19 control from protests is tiny compared to the government action that causes communities to lose trust. 

Editor’s Note: Though the article above centers on the impact of BLM protests to COVID-19 cases, it is a symptom of how the virus has taken over our lives and our consciousness. We obsessed on COVID-19 news, and reshaped our lifestyle according to health standards externally set for us. We forgot to look at root causes, and to listen to scientific updates. We have been driven in fear of a virus that is not as deadly as other diseases that plague our societies.

We must realize, however, that COVID-19 is no more than a distraction to the real issues that threaten our societies and our humanity. The climate emergency is accelerating [see Climate Crisis Worsen Amidst The Pandemic]. Drought and economic recession has increased the number of people who are hungry. Dangerous vaccines are being tested on the vulnerable and marginalized [Human trials for coronavirus vaccines has began in Africa]. 

The coronavirus is just a symptom of a much larger threat, and it is wasting away resources and our capacity respond to future challenges. 

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