Hundreds Rally To Reopen Utah Businesses Amid Pandemic
Apr 18, 2020, 11:11 PM
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Hundreds gathered to rally against the state’s social distancing restrictions and shutdown of businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saturday’s rally started at the Salt Lake City-County Building and ended on the steps of the Utah State Capitol. Some wore face masks and practiced social distancing while others failed to do so as the crowd grew larger and larger.
Participants gathered with family members and a cacophony of sounds to asked state leaders to open all business while others said it’s just not the simple of a choice.
“I don’t know what this virus thing is all about but I do believe there is more to it than we’re being told,” said Nicole Ingel, who shared she had come out in support of opening all businesses.
“We don’t agree with how it was handled, but we don’t want it to spread,” said the Brown family, as they expressed their opposition to the Salt Lake County Health Department’s COVID-19 health order violation hotline.
— Garna Mejia KSL (@GarnaMejiaKSL) April 18, 2020
“I agree with a lot of it, I think it is a pandemic. I think our precautions we need to take, what I don’t like is when the government gets involved and makes it a political thing,” said Howard Stucki.
Several small business owners said the hit they’re taking has been too costly.
“I think we’ve all been good sports and trying to flatten the curve and it’s time to get back to work,” said Jamie Renda of Brixton’s Baked Potato Shop in Ogden. Renda said she also wanted to show her support for President Trump with a Trump-Tater mascot.
“I own a baked potato shop in Ogden Utah, Brixton’s, and people were calling Trump a ‘Trumptator,’ like a dictator, but I love potatoes and I love trump so we came up with a TrumpTater,” Renda said.
Others also wanted all businesses to reopen.
“That’s why I’m here to tell America to get back to work,” said rally supporter Lady Maga, who was dressed as a “Lady Bo-Peep” character. She said she thought the American public is being treated like blind sheep by government officials.
“If Wal-Mart can be open, why can’t we have other businesses open with the same guidelines of sanitary social distancing? It makes no sense,” said Brown.
Others at the rally said it’s not that simple and showed up to protest the rally and as they explained to provide a balanced view.
“The local officials are doing whatever they can to keep the community safe,” said a protester who goes by the alias “Mr. SlickRock Stranger.” “Everybody wants to go back to work. Everybody wants a strong economy but we can’t kill people to do that.”
— Garna Mejia KSL (@GarnaMejiaKSL) April 19, 2020
In the end, all sides found a way to express how they feel.
“I’m so proud to be part of this nation that stands up for its rights and that we have the right to do this,” said Ingel.
The rally was organized the Utah Business Revival coalition and other groups of similar interests.
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How Do I Prevent It?
The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:
- Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
How To Get Help
If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.
If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at email@example.com.