Letter to the editor: The stay-at-home order was created to protect us

By McKenzie McMartin, Guest Columnist

Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Easterner, its staff or Eastern Washington University. This letter has not been edited except for AP style.

Dear Editor of The Easterner,

As you probably already have seen through the news and social media, there have been people protesting at the Washington state capital against Governor Jay Inslee’s stay at home order. These people are protesting for the right to be in public without wearing a mask, to reopen the state and to not be told to stay at home. They claim that  Inslee’s stay-at-home order is unconstitutional and takes away their rights.

Even with these protests, the reality is our Governor is not trying to take away citizens’ rights. He wants to protect the people of this state and reduce the amount of confirmed cases and save lives. In a recent article written by Stephen Sorace from Fox News, he talks about Jay Inslee’s response to the protests.

“These are difficult and frustrating times.” Inslee said. “ I support free speech. But crowd counts or speeches won’t determine our course. This isn’t about politics. It can only be about what is best for the health of all Washingtonians.””

It’s obvious our Governor isn’t doing this to take away rights, but to help protect the people of this state. He wants to reopen the state but knows reopening it too soon could cause more people to get sick.

“Health experts have warned that reopening states too soon could lead to new surge of COVID-19 cases” (Fox News).

I am writing this letter because of The Easterner’s, recent article talking about the protests and how one student does not believe in the order placed by Governor Jay Inslee. Also, I’m not saying people shouldn’t have their right of free speech and the right to protest, because I do believe that is everyone’s right. But at this point in time, while we are in the middle of a pandemic, when thousands of people are becoming ill or even losing their lives, big group protests are not helping. It is well known that this virus is so contagious, and having big crowds close together and not protecting themselves can cause more people to get this virus. I believe you can still share your voice about the stay-at-home order in a way that doesn’t require a giant group protest. Some solutions could be to voice your opinion through social media, and/or even write an email/letter to the governor. There are so many ways to get your voice heard without putting other people at risk. Just because you may not be high at risk and could recover easily doesn’t mean you should put someone else at risk for getting this virus.

If the topic of the stay at home order interests you, and if you want to read more about the protestors and Jay Inslee’s insight, you can find more on the Fox News website https://www.foxnews.com/us/washington-coronavirus-protest-inslee-stay-at-home.


McKenzie B. McMartin