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  • I'm speaking to you during a rare quiet moment

  • at the end of what has been a noisy, tumultuous,

  • and sometimes downright scary week here in Washington DC.

  • The protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in police

  • custody have been remarkable, not just

  • for the numbers of people attending

  • but also for the fact that they have

  • done so even in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic,

  • thereby putting their lives at risk.

  • They've also been remarkable, of course,

  • for the police response to them.

  • Here in Washington we've seen thousands of officers deployed,

  • not just from local police but also from the FBI,

  • from the Secret Service, from the National Guard.

  • Even prison officers and drug enforcement agents.

  • The other night, just after police used tear gas

  • to disperse crowds from outside the White House

  • a military helicopter buzzed low over our house here

  • in Washington DC while the protest

  • took place just a couple of blocks away.

  • For a city that has been on lockdown

  • and nearly deserted for the best part of two months

  • this has all come as something of a shock.

  • But it is also a worry for public health officials

  • who are concerned that they might trigger a second wave

  • of coronavirus cases.

  • On the plus side, all of the protests

  • have, of course, taken place outside,

  • which dramatically reduces the risk of transmission.

  • But while most of the protesters have been wearing masks,

  • not everyone has, and scientists warn

  • that chanting singing and shouting

  • can all help carry the virus further in the air.

  • The other night neighbours of ours even had to accept several

  • strangers into their house after police forced protesters off

  • the streets without giving them anywhere else to go.

  • It is still too early to say how these protests might change

  • America in the long term.

  • But for now we just have to hope that they

  • don't trigger a second wave of deadly coronavirus cases.

I'm speaking to you during a rare quiet moment

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Will US protests spark second wave of Covid-19? DC Lockdown Diary

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    洪子雯 posted on 2020/06/09
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