TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Protests are part of the DNA of America, but the protests now raging across the county are unique.
They are protests during a pandemic.
As anger and frustration at continued police violence against black Americans is sweeping across the land, so is COVID-19.
The CDC and local health officials are still advising social distancing and wearing face masks out in public, as well as just staying home.
Yet protests are bringing large crowds together in close quarters, with some participants wearing masks and others not.
In Tyler, city councilwoman and community activist Shirley McKellar has organized a prayer vigil, but said it will be a drive-in vigil.
McKellar says we can social distance and still send a powerful message.
“We’re still in COVID,” she said. “I have my mask here. We want people to remain in their cars because we’re going to stay in our cars and not go in the church building. COVID has shown us we’re all equal because it’s taking the lives of everybody – black, white, brown.”
Health officials warn of a spike in coronavirus cases after seeing the masses in swarms.
Some leaders worry these actions are putting public health in jeopardy.