The George Floyd protests, which brought thousands of people, and in some cases tens of thousands of people, crammed together into small sections of various cities, do not appear to have caused a spike in COVID-19 cases, Slate reported.
Since the protests started erupting following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, public health officials have been concerned about the possibility of a spike in cases of the deadly pandemic. After all, the protests have brought large crowds into close contact with each other — well short of the 6-foot “social distance” that health officials advise in order to limit the spread of the virus. Indeed, as The New York Times reported, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned that the protests could become “super-spreader events.”
It can take as long as two weeks for symptoms of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, to appear in infected individuals. Now, it has been well over two weeks since the widespread George Floyd protests first began, and there does not appear to have been a spike in cases in cities where the protests took place.
There have been no spikes in COVID-19 cases in New York City or Minneapolis, the former city having seen some of the largest protests, the latter where the protests first began.
Similarly, there have been no spikes in cases in Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, or, indeed, in most of the other places where those protests have taken place.
There have been spikes in cases in Texas, California, Arizona, and Florida. However, Slate writer Fred Kaplan noted that those states have also reopened bars, restaurants, and other indoor facilities, muddling the picture of what seemingly caused the spike in cases.
It bears noting that these observations are anecdotal and are not the result of scientific study. Indeed, it may be years before thorough scientific analysis can give a full picture of how the COVID-19 pandemic spread in the United States and what caused local and nationwide ebbs and flows in cases.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, some health experts believed that the fact that the protests were taking place outside could be a factor in limiting the spread of the virus among the protesters. The consensus among the medical community is that, when it comes to the spread of viruses, indoor spaces are much more dangerous than outdoor spaces.
Kaplan also noted that the majority of the protesters wore masks.
There were other factors that may have mitigated the spread of the protests as well. For example, in many cases, they took place in sunlight and in the heat, both factors that are believed to slow the spread of viruses. Further, most of the protesters have been young, and younger individuals are far less likely to develop complications from the coronavirus.