Protesters need to keep calm

On Saturday, dozens of Granite Staters gathered at the State House in Concord to persuade Gov. Chris Sununu to end his stay-at-home order.

Sununu issued the decree on March 27 to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The order mandates that people stay home unless they are working in essential businesses or out getting required supplies, like groceries. Sununu has made it clear at news conferences there are exceptions, including getting outside for a breath of fresh air and seeking medical care.

The stay-at-home edict is set to expire on May 4; however, it is unclear if the governor will extend Emergency Order No. 17.

Officials have said people could face criminal charges if they gather in groups greater than 10. Attorney General Gordon MacDonald, though, said in a memo to law enforce that discretion must be used in issuing citations.

Protesters at the State House held signs reading “Live Free or Die in Lockdown,” “Don’t Quarantine the Economy” and “Freedom Trumps the Commie Virus.”

As of Sunday, 41 people have died from COVID-19 in New Hampshire and 1,392 tested positive, with the numbers increasing daily.

While we understand people’s frustration about opening the state back up for business, it is imperative we take a cautious approach to the issue.

Yes, the economy is hurting. Yes, people are hurting, too, because many of their jobs are on hold until businesses reopen. Yes, it is inconvenient not to be able to travel freely. Yes, it is frustrating to be cooped up inside all day, with little to do.

However, it is a complicated situation. For safety’s sake, the stay-at-home order must be followed through on. And, unfortunately, it may need to be extended. Lives still are on the line. The virus still isn’t contained. There still is a danger.

The last thing we want to happen is to reopen businesses and allow gatherings and a second wave of the virus sweeps through the state.

We all need to be calm and stay home until scientists and doctors determine that it is safe to return to normal.