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Bruce Peters


Rioting For The Right To Work

Posted On:29-May-2020/3:01 pm

Lately, I have been watching television and seeing many of my fellow Americans rioting in the streets; among other reasons, complaining about their right to go back to work and trying to persuade their Governor to relax their State’s stay-at-home order. I started thinking about my last duppydom (Our Consequences as It Relates to the Coronavirus), and stared wondering if people don’t fully understand what being socially responsible means. I completely understand that people (and business owners) need to go back to work to support their family, but at what cost? Are they willing to sacrifice their life (and other people’s lives) for a paycheck?

The right to work and the freedom of the business market can be wonderful aspects of living. The pride of working and contributing to society is a feeling that is not easily mimicked by other successes. However, across the globe, nations and societies have halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While it’s difficult to rearrange our entire lives and stop our once daily routines, it’s obvious how necessary these precautions are. The more the virus spreads, the more people are becoming critically ill and even dying.

As we have all heard constantly from the news, social media, and the radio, some find the government restrictions not only inconvenient but as a way for the government to quash our civil right to work.

While these concerns have been voiced from Australia to Canada, it seems that my fellow citizens of the U.S have taken this issue to a higher level. Across the many states of America – most recently Texas, Indiana, and Wisconsin – protestors have taken to the streets to riot and rally against the COVID-19 restrictions. The protestors have started these rallies for a variety of reasons: some believe that the government is being overly controlling by closing businesses, others believe that the virus itself is a hoax, as protestors in Austin have exclaimed. Overall, these protestors want the same result - for life to be as it was. While I, and I’m sure many others, can agree with that, the riots themselves are putting so many more people in danger. These protestors do not wear masks or gloves, do not practice social distancing during their protests, and are completely ignoring any and all suggestions from Public Health officials.

The demand for non-essential businesses to reopen seems to be the loudest request from protestors. They feel that it is their God-given right to work in their country and, therefore, should be allowed to work regardless of any current situation. They argue that they are being treated like children with the enforcement of the restrictions and need to go back to work for their mental health and financial well-being. This has come on even stronger as the rate of unemployment skyrockets.

Others complain that the damage to the economy will be more harmful than any virus. While every nation’s economy will be affected harshly, with some never recovering, we must think of the mass amounts of humans lives at risk. Returning to work would have catastrophic consequences for the health of U.S citizens and could extend the period of these restrictions to last even longer.

Working and feeling like we are contributing to society is important for our finances, our self-worth, and our mental health. It’s crucial to feel needed and worthy. Unfortunately, going back to work and reopening businesses is just not doable for the time being.  While some are still working – those considered essential – it is so much more beneficial to the eradication of the virus if those who can stay home do so. Again, I implore my brethren to think about how their behaviours will have consequences and to behave more socially responsibly.


1 : After two months of COVID-19 quarantine, some Americans want the economy to reopen.

2 : They have taken to the streets in the form of rioting to voice their opinions

3 : With no vaccine, is reopening the U.S. economy a viable option at the present moment?

Category:  Social Responsibility / Subcategory:  Our Freedom to Decide

Tags: right to work, civil rights, protestors, paycheck, government, coronavirus, COVID-19, economy, stay-at-home orders, hoax, unemployment

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Amie Warwick


Bruce, in Montreal Canada, there are no riots, but things are changing. I remember about two weeks ago the restaurants and bars petitioned the government to reopen. Right now, most retail stores are open. From what I hear, restaurants, tattoo shops and beauty salons will be opening in June. Maybe people in the U.S. should follow our lead. Instead of rioting and talking about their God-given right to work, just wait a bit and things will open up.

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Amelia Roosevelt


For me, most of the things (seems everything) in this world are built-in paradoxical. You incur an opportunity cost at every turn. When you select to work, you are gambling with life and death. To continue your life you have to work. It is a vicious cycle of a pandemic. Isn't it? As Bankers, we had to balance it. We were working from the 2nd week of lockdown with every precaution. Washing, avoiding public places and using other one's work desk. However, we cannot do a big social distancing, with our everyday co-workers, but, we all very cautious about our health conditions. We are playing safe (touch wood) with the blessings of all the deities. It is a balance you need.

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Lisa Steffler


Bruce, following the stay-at-home rules is not only being socially responsible, it is being decent and kind to your fellow man. I see the news on the television, and I cannot believe what I am seeing. Even for our church, when we are at the shelters and food kitchens, we must wear protective equipment. I guess young people have different priorities than old folks like me.

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Nadine Wu


Bruce, I must admit, I do understand why people are picketing. I have been isolating and working from home for 2 ½ months and I am getting sick of it. Please do not get me wrong, I am not out rioting in the streets--I think some of those people are insane--especially the ones on packed beaches. But you have to admit, we are now living like hermits--how long is this supposed to continue. And yes, I do understand what social responsibility is! Wanting some freedom again and trying to restart the economy does not make me a bad person.

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S. Jakes


Bruce, Canadians are watching what is happening in the U.S. very closely. We also want to get back to work and a normal life, but we are more cautious. The medical experts in the U.S. say that become so many Americans are violating quarantining, there will be a spike in the number of coronavirus cases and the death toll will rise. I think this is what is keeping most Canadians at home. I have not seen or heard of any rioting in Canada.