Ohio Stay at Home Protesters or the Purge? Photo by Joshua Bickel

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Ohio Stay at Home Protesters or the Purge? Photo by Joshua Bickel

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Many images from this pandemic are haunting: empty grocery store aisles, deserted national monuments, shuttered restaurants. But this image captured by Joshua Bickel takes the cake. Positioned from inside the Ohio Statehouse, Bickel snaps outraged protestors, chanting various cries against the governor and the Stay-at-Home orders that blanket the state. The people sport banal nationalistic tokens such as Trump hats and American flags, but no face-masks, an article that has come to epitomize civic and public duty in the weeks past. This image shows how not only has the pandemic spread across the nation, but so have doubts and nudges against authority from higher ups in the American government. Protests of this nature have not cropped up in other parts of the world nearly to the extent that they have swept the great USofA. Some point our anomalous trends to lack of leadership in Washington and lack of national unity in the midst of what can only be called a public health/economic/social crisis. Benedict Anderson's "imagined community" that pulls a nation together is simply falling apart as we cannot come together and unite under facts, science, and leadership at a time when we need it most. Bickel's image portrays an America that is not filled with communion and fraternity, but riddled with "hoaxes" and ignorance. Of course we are all wanting to return to our normal lives, but to go out and protest and participate in an activity that inherently prolongs our quarantine? Seems pretty un-American to me.

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