COVID-19: Protesting Safely

By: Dr. Neetu Ahluwalia


Hello Friends,

I hope you had an active weekend and got some sunshine. There have been marches all over the Bay Area and more are planned. I’m inspired to be better and stand up for social justice change. Given that we are still in a pandemic, there is a real concern that we may see a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Here are some strategies to keep you and your loved ones safe if you are participating in a protest.

  1. Wear a mask and carry extras for others who don’t have a mask. (Someone was kind enough to give me one).
  2. If you feel you have COVID-19 symptoms, don’t go to a protest. Stay at home. There are many ways to make a difference. (See point 9).
  3. Carry hand sanitizer and/or wipes.
  4. Maintain physical distance (at least 6 feet) as much as possible.
  5. Avoid drugs and alcohol.
  6. March with your family, friends, or affinity group. Make a plan to meet up or plan an escape route if needed.
  7. Stay hydrated and eat healthy snacks—fruits, nuts. Try not to yell or shout (or be close to someone who is) as COVID-19 spreads via respiratory droplets. Instead carry signs or use noisemakers.
  8. Record any police interactions on Mobile Justice, an app developed by the ACLU.
  9. If you can’t participate directly in a protest, you can still be a part of the movement. You can be an emergency contact or donate online. Check out: 26 Ways to Be in the Struggle Beyond the Streets.
  10. Assume you have COVID-19 after participating in a protest—get tested after a couple of days.
  11. If you want to take your child to a protest, there are specific options more suitable for children. Make sure you understand the risks and remember to take precautions.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.