While the state aims to bounce back, Madison protesters won't wait | WisCommunity

While the state aims to bounce back, Madison protesters won't wait

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Photos and video courtesy of

April 26, 2020 - 4:08pm

a walk through the rally

Although the state currently has at least a rough plan for re-opening businesses called  some in the state do not seem willing to wait for more testing and a decline in COVID-19 cases. A rally of approximately 1500 people was held in Madison on Friday for people who want to see an immediate re-opening of at least some of the businesses that have been deemed non-essential. On Saturday there was also a

Protesters made their point both on the square and by driving around the areas. Masks were few and far between and most of the crowd was making a point of not practicing social distancing. Some came armed, but unlike in some state protests there was no evidence of Confederate flags. Clearly the crowd had a lot of Trump supporters, as shown by the signs and a Trump float that circled the square. 1500 protesters is comparatively weak beer as far as protests in Madison go. Indeed, according to recent polls the majority of Americans believe we should continue the current restrictions for as long as it takes to preserve our health rather than bolster the economy. A showed 76% of those responding believe that social distancing and other restrictions should continue for as long as it takes, with only 14% recommending lessening restrictions if it means an increase in illness. 

Although I certainly understand the concerns of small business owners who are truly suffering in the current shutdown, and that life has been very inconvenient in a lot of ways, my question is why should we rush this restart at the expense of prudence? Ironically, the protest forced many businesses in the area of the capitol to shut down because of the danger imposed by the protest. The current plan from DHS and the Governor sets a staged set of expansions, with a set of milestones to achieve. Clearly we have not yet met any of these milestones. Sufficient testing and tracking are not yet in place in Wisconsin, although there has been great progress on this in the past few weeks. There has also been no clear decline in the rate of infection. Indeed, the last two days have shown a marked increase in new cases in Wisconsin. Much of this increase is the result of increased testing, but the percentage of tests that come out positive has not declined, and in fact, seems to continue to go up and down on a daily basis as shown in the graphs on this site. Until sufficient testing and tracking are in place and we see a consistent downward trend in positive case percentages for two weeks, I believe it is premature to be expanding business in the state. This virus has killed 272 people in Wisconsin, and that number continues to trend upward. At the moment it is much more important to protect the lives of Wisconsin residents than to simply return to business as usual in the state. 

Our thanks go to The Badger Project for supplying us with the accompanying photos and video. 

Tomorrow - Let's Look at the Numbers.

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