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As I See It

Protests threaten to increase coronavirus numbers

Scott Robert Shaw

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It was a disturbing sight. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of people, all gathered together in a small space. No social distancing, few masks, and signs reading “Live Free or Die.” That was the scene Friday at the Wisconsin state capitol where protesters descended to call for Wisconsin’s Governor to reopen the state. That is despite the fact that coronavirus cases, and related deaths, continue to rise. As of Sunday, 266 Wisconsinites have died, and 5687 have tested positive. Those numbers are likely to rise as a result of this protest. And if we ever get all the test kits we need, the numbers are sure to go up again. Sure, the economic cost of the ongoing restrictions is severe, but we can’t ignore this is a potentially fatal disease, easily spread when people, for example, shout at protests. Unfortunately, these protesters aren’t just putting themselves in danger. They left Madison to return to their hometowns, to shop in the same grocery stores where we shop. They are putting every one of us at risk. We all want our lives back. But unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen until the outbreak can be brought under control. How quickly that will happen depends largely on doing the things we are told, like avoiding large crowds of people, no matter how important we believe the cause may be.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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