COLUMBUS — Hundreds of protestors gathered at the Ohio Statehouse for around two hours Saturday afternoon, demanding Gov. Mike DeWine reopen Ohio immediately.
Many wore red Make America Great caps, wove American flags and carried signs decrying liberties that have been taken away during the global pandemic. They chanted “U-S-A,” and “We are not sheep!”
Others packed in cars, pickups and sport-utility-vehicles and circled Ohio Capitol Square numerous times, blaring their horns — which added a lot of noise to a downtown area that has been dead quiet in recent weeks.
DeWine said Thursday that Ohio would begin to open incrementally and with restrictions. Businesses will open with restrictions such as people wearing masks — which some protestors donned Saturday.
From a public health standpoint, officials have justified stay-at-home orders, closing of nonessential businesses and banning mass gatherings as a way to keep people physically apart.
Coronavirus is believed to have a higher mortality rate than the flu — possibly as high as 2% in the U.S., compared to 0.1% for influenza. Coronavirus infection rates may also be higher. Because it’s new, people have no natural immunity and a vaccine is at least a year away.
As of Saturday, 10,222 Ohioans have been infected with coronavirus and 451 people have died.
At least one protestor brought a sign that alleged the government’s restrictions were akin to government run by Nazis. Another protestor drove around with an anti-Semitic sign.