CSU students react to people not social distancing

Greta Nelson-Bechtold

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. 


“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. 

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.