How to Safely Protest in San Antonio Amid
To safely participate in San Antonio protests during the pandemic, come prepared with the proper protective equipment, keep your distance during the protest and try to get tested afterward.
Safety should be top-of-mind before, during and after protest. Here’s what to do to mitigate the risk to you and those around you, while still making your voice heard.
Before the Protest
If you feel ill, stay at home. Even if you take all the necessary precautions, going out when you feel ill can put those around you at risk. Instead, explore other ways you can get involved, like donating to Uniting Wisdom or signing our petition seeking San Antonio police reform.
Check in with those around you. Ask if your friends or roommates are high-risk for COVID-19. Those with an underlying illness and older adults can be more likely to experience severe illness if exposed to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Even if those around you aren’t high-risk, it’s important to understand their comfort levels and consider that before coming out to protest.
Pack your mask. Even if it isn’t required, wearing a mask can greatly reduce the risk to you and those around you. Uniting Wisdom volunteers bring extra masks and gloves to protests in case you need them.
Bring bottled water. In the heat of the San Antonio summer, marching even a couple of miles can take a toll. Don’t share your water bottle. Uniting Wisdom volunteers bring water to each protest in case you forget.
During the Protest
Keep your distance. The CDC, state and local officials all recommend keeping a distance of at least six feet from those around you.
Maintain good hygiene. Bring and use hand sanitizer often during the protest. Avoid touching other people and avoid touching your face.
Steer clear of tear gas. San Antonio police officers have used tear gas on protesters before. If you see tear gas, avoid the area. Tear gas may cause you to cough, which can quickly spread germs. If tear gas gets into your eyes, use water to rinse it out. You can learn more about tear gas, including its long- and short-term effects, on the CDC’s fact sheet.
If you feel unsafe, leave. Protests put on by Uniting Wisdom are designed to be a peaceful way for the San Antonio community to spread an important message. But if you feel like you’re putting yourself or others at risk or find yourself in an unsafe situation, err on the safe side and go home.
After the Protest
Get tested. Large gatherings are among the high-risk activities you can participate in during a pandemic. After protesting, try to get tested. The city has a page dedicated to testing locations and registration information. When cases are on the rise, wait times and the time it takes to get results also increase, so it’s best to get in line early. If you test negative, you can assure those you interact with that they’re not being exposed. If you test positive, you should immediately self-isolate to avoid spreading the disease.
Stay cautious. Take the same precautions you take during the protest - social distancing, cleaning your hands and wearing your mask - afterward, too. You can show symptoms up to 14 days after being exposed, but many feel symptoms around day 5 or 6, according to the World Health Organization.