The scenes of thousands of people marching in Chicago in a joint Pride and Black Lives Matter parade have raised some questions about double standards in reporting and enforcing social distancing rules amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Even though officially Chicago’s annual Pride Parade has been canceled due to Covid-19 concerns, massive crowds nevertheless gathered on Sunday in the Lakeview neighborhood and marched Uptown to “reclaim Pride.”
Aerial footage of the packed event has drawn much criticism from those opposing the harsh lockdown measures, and the apparent double standards in enforcing them. Local authorities and mainstream media were blasted for closing their eyes or even ‘encouraging’ particular gatherings while painting the rest as a dangerous breach of social distancing.
Some tried to ridicule the critics, however, insisting that the law-abiding participants of the march were all wearing masks, and arguing that the risk of contracting the virus outdoors is much lower.
Maaaaaaybe it’s because there’s little to no evidence protests spread the virus because most people wore masks and it was outside and people are mad because the virus is spreading in southern states where people are dining indoors and refusing to wear masks
— Declan (@DeclanDuggan12) June 28, 2020
Crowded mass protests against racism and police brutality sparked in hundreds of cities by the death of George Floyd have probably played some role in the recent jump in cases, with demonstrators largely defying social distancing guidelines.
Media coverage of the rise in infections, however, has focused almost exclusively on those gathering at bars and beaches (as well as Trump rallies and anti-lockdown protests), while virtually ignoring the massive BLM marches as a potential factor.
Yup- it’s the world’s first first WOKE virus.It was killing more black people than white a few weeks ago, but then it found out that blacks have been subject to years of systematic racism, so it stopped infecting them altogether.Even the scientists agree on that!!
— DM64 (@vantagemusicuk1) June 28, 2020
Though some of the recent increases may be explained by ramped-up screenings for the virus, some health experts have cautioned that a boost in testing does not account for the full spike, arguing that outbreaks are, in fact, accelerating.
Amazing investigative journalism: 7 days after Trumps 9k rally, you can point to increased COVID cases from it. 3 weeks post protests involving 100s of k’s in multiple cities and you can find no evidence there is any increase in COVID from them.
— Ray (@rmtanca) June 27, 2020
To date, the virus has killed over 125,000 people in the US, roughly a quarter of the global death toll of 500,000, and there are fears that the spike in new infections could undo a falling trend in fatalities.