by Caroline Johnston
Graphic by Luke Theodossy
Walnut Creek’s citizens began participating in a mandatory shelter in place since March 17. Residents can only leave their home for essential services and activities, including exercising, grocery shopping and work. The lockdown also mandates citizens must socially distance from others by maintaining a six foot distance between others, except for those someone lives with. On Monday, April 27, Contra Costa County extended shelter in place orders through the end of May.
Throughout the country, there have been sizable protests and rallies to end the shelter in place orders and reopen the economy. The protests ranged in size from a couple dozen people to several thousand and have taken place in 19 states, including California. Some worry that because most protesters are not social distancing, or wearing masks, they could therefore be spreading the virus, which will only lengthen the shelter in place orders, as the number of cases increases.
Walnut Creek itself has not had any organized protests, although there many are not following the lockdown guidelines. Many grocery stores, such as Trader Joe’s and Safeway, require shoppers to wear masks and limit the amount of shoppers in the stores by creating distanced lines outside, to get in the store. However, in other places, such as the Iron Horse Trail and Shell Ridge Open Space, many people are not distancing themselves from other hikers or walkers as they pass. Many teenagers, including Las Lomas students, continued to hang out with and not social distance from their friends, which violates the shelter in place orders.
Many Las Lomas students are disappointed in the protests happening around the country. Junior Jakob Lapping said, “It is sad that in America, people cannot agree on scientific facts,” as protesters ignore doctors orders in order to strike and gather, which is scientifically proven to help spread of disease. In response to the protests occurring in the United States, junior Portia Sasser said, “It’s really absurd… especially when people compare the quarantine to slavery. It’s very disrespectful and blown way out of proportion. The quarantine is in our best interests, to keep us and others at a higher risk safe and healthy.”