Tags: pandemic | floyd | viral | minneapolis

Dr. David Samadi: Protesters Not Social Distancing, Endangering Lives

george floyd vigil in new zealand

New Zealand protesters hold a vigil against the killing of Minneapolis man George Floyd in a Black Lives Matter protest outisde Parliament in Wellington on June 1, 2020. (David Lintott / AFP via Getty Images)

By Monday, 01 June 2020 09:36 AM Current | Bio | Archive

We’re only as good as what our priorities are.

And when two major crises converge, it’s amazing how quickly priorities can turn on a dime, such as completely neglecting social distancing.

Within only a matter of days, the more than three month all-out onslaught of 24-hour news coverage on the coronavirus pandemic, has finally been knocked off the front page.

Unfortunately, it took the horrific death of George Floyd, a black man killed by a Minneapolis police officer caught on cell phone videos, taking our attention off of COVID-19 and onto racial injustice, as we watched in disgust and utter shock.

As a prostate cancer surgeon, I value every life as precious.

All lives matter and Mr. Floyd, nor any of us, deserved this type of treatment resulting in his untimely demise. I pray that not only will proper justice be sought and served, but also pray for his family and friends who loved and cherished this man.

Social Distancing During Protests and Riots

George Floyd’s death almost immediately ignited a firestorm beginning in the United States. It has now gone global.

It began with African Americans joined by others in the U.S. taking their anger and frustration to the streets. Globally, protesters from Canada, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and other countries, have also joined in solidarity.

While it's encouraging that many of the protesters are seeking constructive change for improving race relations, it comes at an unprecedented and worrisome time.

A deadly and highly contagious global viral pandemic is occurring at the same time as massive numbers of protesters across the globe gather — in close proximity and contact for hours and days on end.

Without a vaccine or cure for COVID-19, large gatherings of protesters are potentially dangerous.

Just a week ago, we were still reminding everyone to wear face masks out in public and to be vigilant about practicing social distancing.

Surprisingly, most of the demonstrators have been wearing face masks — whether for protecting themselves from the virus or more for protecting their identity — but social distancing has been abruptly ignored.

When thousands are demonstrating simultaneously, keeping at least six feet apart is hard.

Public health officials fear that this constant close contact with others will lead to a spike in viral infections of COVID-19.

As we’ve learned, this virus has hit minority populatons the hardest.

In Chicago alone, 70% of the COVID-19 deaths were African Americans.

Currently, the latest figures show more than 1.7 million Americans have tested positive for the virus and over 104,000 have died from it.

On top of that, efforts to stop coronavirus from spreading by mandating lockdowns, has resulted in 40 million people in the U.S. filing for unemployment.

Will Protests Increase COVID-19 Numbers?

It’s always a guessing game but from what we know about this virus, it’s certainly reasonable to assume an uptick in the number of protesters and police contracting COVID-19.

In approximately two weeks, we should know more if this comes true.

Large gatherings have always been a concern for spreading contagious viruses.

It’s highly likely there are asymptomatic individuals in these protests who are shedding the virus to others around them.

Anytime an infected person is in close proximity to someone else for extended periods of time, it significantly increases that risk.

When watching video footage of these demonstrations, you see right away large throngs of agitated and upset people closely crowded together, touching and shouting loudly, spewing possible viral contaminants towards each other and to the police.

In some cities, to gain control of crowds getting out of hand, police have resorted to using tear gas, which causes significant irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat.

Protesters subjected to tear gas, have likely taken their face masks off using their hands to wash the irritant from these bodily orifices, indirectly providing access to the main routes of transmission for the virus to spread.

Protesting for hours can be physically demanding.

Whether standing for long stretches at a time or walking for miles, they are not conducive to keeping hands clean and sanitized. Factor in adjusting your face mask (if wearing one), rubbing eyes, touching others, and it’s a perfect environment for viral spread.

If You’re Going to Protest, Take Precautions

A freedom all Americans enjoy is to assemble peacefully to protest.

It’s our right to voice our opinions on whatever we value or are trying to change.

These are freedoms we must preserve and protect.

But, during a pandemic, let’s do it wisely.

Continue wearing face masks, mainly for when distancing from others becomes impossible to do. Keep your hands away from your face and carry hand sanitizer, frequently washing your hands.

In case tear gas or even smoke from burning cars or buildings becomes an issue, I would advise wearing goggles to protect your eyes.

If you anticipate or encounter either tear gas or smoke, move away from these irritants as quickly as possible.

As far as social distancing, you do have the right to gather but that does not give you the right to jeopardize the health of others. Keep a distance of at least six feet apart from individuals as much as you can and respectfully remind others to do the same.

If you are running a fever or have tested positive for COVID-19, please stay home.

In the meantime, protest with a purpose for improving a situation, without hostility, violence, and most of all, do so peacefully.

That’s when meaningful change has the best chance of happening.

Dr. David Samadi is Director of Men's Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He is a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City. He is regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., trained in oncology, open, laparoscopic, and robotic surgery. He has vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Read Dr. David Samadi's Reports – More Here.

© 2020 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

1Like our page
When two major crises converge, it’s amazing how quickly priorities can turn on a dime, such as completely neglecting social distancing.
pandemic, floyd, viral, minneapolis
Monday, 01 June 2020 09:36 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved