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CSU students react to people not social distancing

Social distancing during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues, with stay-at-home orders extended until late April or early May for multiple Colorado counties, but the Denver-area protest against stay-at-home orders on April 19 proved some people are not respecting social distancing recommendations. 

With COVID-19 still restricting the return of normalcy, Colorado State University students expressed their thoughts and concerns about the protest in Colorado’s capital and people refusing to social distance. 

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“The protest in Denver highlights the minority of our population that doesn’t understand the scope of danger of the virus,” said Evan Rose, a CSU freshman studying computer science. “I thought it was sad to see how many people are dedicating their lives to saving individuals, and this protest seemed almost as to disrespect that entirely.”

The protest at the capital followed “gridlocks” in other states, such as Michigan. It brought together hundreds of people for the reopening of the state. 

Protesters rallied for businesses and workplaces to reopen, as many people are losing their incomes and filing for unemployment. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 142,600 Coloradans are unemployed as of March 2020. 

Despite the protest, Rose said the general population is taking social distancing reasonably seriously.

I want to go back to normal as much as the next person, but I also want to see my next birthday.” -Julia Posey, third-year CSU fish and wildlife biology major

Julia Posey, a third-year fish and wildlife biology major at CSU, said the Denver protest was upsetting to see, especially since she’s in the high-risk category for COVID-19. 

“I want to go back to normal as much as the next person, but I also want to see my next birthday,” Posey said. 

Since she’s a high-risk individual, Posey said she has only been going out if it is absolutely necessary, and she follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s health and safety practices

Lexi Ekern, a first-year student studying human development and family studies, said she’s fearful for the safety of her family, friends and people in the high-risk category. 

“Of course, it is free speech, and I understand that people need to get back to work, but I think going against all orders and gathering in large groups will only cause more danger,” Ekern said. 

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Ekern said she was also upset to see how health care professionals had to counterprotest during the rally. 

“I believe the Denver protest was exactly what people should not do,” said Elisabeth Quigley, a first-year CSU business major. “If those people really wanted this lockdown to be lifted, they would be staying at home.”

Quigley said if people didn’t gather in large groups and followed distancing orders, the number of cases in Colorado and the United States would be much lower.

Starting today, the safer-at-home phase will be put into motion for the gradual reopening of the state, as declared by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis. The phase will aim to maintain 60-65% physical distancing, and more businesses and services will reopen as this phase continues. 

To slow the spread of COVID-19 and stay healthy, the CDC recommends people wash their hands frequently with soap and water, wear face masks when in public and practice proper social distancing. 

Anyone looking for more information on how to protect themselves and others can visit the CDC website.

Greta Nelson-Bechtold can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @gretanelsonb.

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Katrina Clasen
Katrina Clasen, Design Director
Katrina Clasen is the current design director for The Collegian and is a third-year honors student pursuing a degree in fine arts with a concentration in graphic design and a minor in creative writing. This will be her third year working on the design desk at The Collegian after starting as a page designer in 2019 and design editor in 2020. As design director, Clasen oversees and aids the operations of The Collegian's print publication and design production team. She is eager to be leading her desk as the director alongside her incredible new team of designers. As a committed advocate for providing students with opportunities to share their voices, Clasen found her love for design when creating layouts and graphic art for her high school literary and visual arts magazine, The Looking Glass. Now she volunteers her knowledge of design to multiple on-campus magazines with her most recent position being graphic designer and managing editor for CSU's Honors Program Spiritus Mundi. Working alongside industry trailblazers within The Collegian has strengthened Clasen's ambition for innovation and creativity. She works to capture the expression of complex human thought by focusing on creating meaningful experiences through design. She dreams of one day founding her own design firm for creatives to consult and create all in one place. Growing up in Fort Collins, Clasen fell in love with the outdoors and connecting with others outside. She is happiest with her life-long friend and sister Natalya Clasen, cooking and chatting the hours away.

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