The fear of COVID-19 and the Police

Abstract: The Corona Virus pandemic has caused a lot of confusion in turmoil as people were suddenly ordered to return to their homes and not be allowed to roam the streets unless it was absolutely essential. This worried people such as JP and he began to hear rumors from students on campus saying they’d been pulled over by the police while in Downtown and told to return to their home or else they’ll be fined. Other’s heard they were giving tickets if you roamed near public places. These rumors are analyzed below. 

Background: JP is a Mexican America from Florida and currently lives in California and like all of us, he’s been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. He is a University of Southern California student who studies Engineering. We were discussing the pandemic occurring across the world and the tight restrictions Los Angeles implemented to minimize the spread of the virus. We discussed how he was doing living near campus and any issues coming up due to it. He mentioned how he heard cops were pulling over people on the streets for being out of their homes.

P: How’s living in your apartment going? 

J: Dude it’s pretty weird like I’m the only one here right now and you know me I like to cook so I put on my mask and I drove to ralphs to pick up some stuff to cook and I heard people in line whispering that the police are apparently pulling people over for being on the streets? I was shocked at hearing this and I kept listening in on their conversation. They kept saying how the police might even start doing runs through freeways and just block off the ramps and only let you on if you have a valid reason. 

P: That’s a ridiculous man like what if you have an emergency or something? That’s not going to happen.

J: I know it sounds absurd but its the possibility of it happening you know? Like at this point it feels like anything can happen I mean look just a few weeks ago you and I were working on Homework in a study room just worried about our Engineering Midterm and now we’re stuck worrying about another midterm and this pandemic. This is not the way I envisioned us finishing our junior year. 

Clearly there is a lot of skepticism going around due to this unknown virus and pandemics are a great way to spread fear and rumors which will continue to stir the pot and cause more panic. Rumors such as these seem to be spread to keep people in their homes and away from the public so they don’t spread the virus to others. On top of this, these skepticisms are effective methods of keeping in people in check but also in a state of shock due to their lack of detail and origins. This pandemic has made it really hard for people since it keeps them thinking of what the risks are of leaving their homes. If they leave their home, will they encounter a cop or will the be exposed to this new Virus? This is a risk people are taking just to sustain themselves with essential goods such as food and toilet paper.