Protesters Demand Northern Virginia Reopening Now

Northern Virginia should begin reopening next Friday, but dozens of residents feel that should already be happening.

For a second week in a row, close to 50 protestors lined Loudoun Street late Friday morning outside the county government building displaying signs with messages demanding that businesses in the Northern Virginia region, specifically in Loudoun, be allowed to reopen along with the rest of the Commonwealth. Gov. Ralph Northam this month allowed all of Virginia to enter phase-one reopening but mandated the Northern Virginia region remain in phase zero until at least next Friday, May 29.

The protestors’ signs featured broad messages like “We Are All Essential,” “Let My People Go,” “Lockdown Forever?” and “Socialism Distancing,” with an emphasis on the “ism.” They also painted signs with messages more specific to Loudoun and its leaders, like “Liberate Loudoun” and “Radical Randall Reopen Now”—calling on County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) to push for a Loudoun reopening.

This is the second consecutive Friday the protestors have displayed their signs in the same location. Attendees did not appear to be using face coverings or practicing social distancing.

Northam on May 8 issued Executive Order 61, which allowed businesses across Virginia to enter a phase-one reopening beginning May 15. A day later, leaders from Loudoun, Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William counties wrote to the state health commissioner to say that the state’s most densely populated region was not yet ready to move into phase one.

In Loudoun, Randall said she conducted a straw poll of supervisors by email, with six of nine supervisors concurring to send the letter.

On May 12, Northam issued Executive Order 62, which allowed the Northern Virginia region to remain in phase zero. After confusion ensued over whether Loudoun was included in that exception, since it was not specifically listed, the governor amended the order to read “all towns and political subdivisions contained therein,” and additionally included the City of Richmond and Accomack County.

Northam on Friday said the state was in “frequent communication with officials in those localities and will have more information to share next week, but to be clear, the floor that we established will not change.”

A protestor holds a sign posing the question of why County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) gets a paycheck, but she doesn’t, while Loudoun remains shut down. [Patrick Szabo/Loudoun Now]
Protestors standing outside the county government building along Loudoun Street Friday morning held signs questioning why the region was still in lockdown and demanding people be set free from quarantine. [Patrick Szabo/Loudoun Now]
A protestor standing outside the county government building along Loudoun Street holds a sign with a message pointing an idea that social distancing is a form of socialism. [Patrick Szabo/Loudoun Now]
Close to 50 protestors stood outside the county government building along Loudoun Street late Friday morning demanding the Northern Virginia region, and specifically Loudoun, be allowed to reopen. [Patrick Szabo/Loudoun Now]

26 thoughts on “Protesters Demand Northern Virginia Reopening Now

  • 2020-05-22 at 4:27 pm

    Given the article topic is the county shutdown, your photo caption “A protestor holds a sign posing the question of why County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) gets a stimulus check, but she doesn’t, while Loudoun remains shut down” is likely mistaken. The sign holder obviously means “pay check”, not “stimulus check”.

    Stimulus checks are independent of the county shutdown, therefore not relevant to the topic.

    • 2020-05-22 at 5:29 pm

      No mention or suggestion that the sign refers to anything but the paycheck Randall regularly receives. More the pity, that.

  • 2020-05-22 at 4:43 pm

    It doesn’t make sense, why should the board of supervisors get paid when people can’t open their businesses and make a living. This is America, most people don’t want a government handout, they want the right to earn a living. Phyllis and company wake up and allow businesses to open and while your at it, expedite the pool permits so HOA’s can open their pools. Everyone has been quarantined for too long and it’s time to open up.

  • 2020-05-22 at 5:04 pm

    Who are these people and why are you giving morons like this free publicity? If I had to guess, it’s a bunch of anti-vaxxers, flat-earthers, and other mouth breathers that don’t understand the first thing about science or medicine. That, or it’s a church group that is cranky because their collection plates are drying up..

    Next time you write an article about selfish, socially ignorant Luddites like these people, it’d be nice to know some more details about the actual impetus behind such a demonstration. Without some context about who they are and what they think they’re accomplishing, it’s hard to view this as anything more than clickbait about some people that Darwin is gonna take care of sooner than later.

    • 2020-05-22 at 5:33 pm

      Ah, an erudite comment from one of the hypocritical “inclusive tolerant” crowd.

      • 2020-05-22 at 6:24 pm

        There should be no tolerance for homicidal morons. It’s ludicrous to suggest otherwise, but you already knew that, EJ.

    • 2020-05-23 at 6:45 am

      Good Lord, you know nothing of science nor medicine, not to mention economics or even basic human rights.

      Hey, though, if you’d like to speak of selfishness, then why not speak of the 50,000 suicides taking place in this country annually, and how that figure is currently surging in many areas well past their annual numbers already? How about the fact that the shutdown itself is projected to kill hundreds of thousands of children around the globe this year alone, and place tens of millions more children into abject poverty? What of the hundreds of millions who are on the brink of mass starvation due to the shutdown, NOT the virus?

      A very real case can just as easily be made to indicate that you’re the selfish one for enacting policies the likes of which will result in far more turmoil and death than this virus alone could ever achieve.

      You can take this virus seriously, as every bacterial, viral, and fungal infection should be taken, but that doesn’t mean you overreact and then refuse to change your course of action once better data has arrived. In fact, real science and medicine follows data, and thus far the data proves that this virus is not the apocalyptic plague once feared back in February and early March. Sure, it may be deadly, but we know the specific groups and facilities where it proves to be most deadly, and it’s far easier to focus our attention upon addressing those issues versus this carpet bombing approach of wrecking the economic and psychological health of entire civilizations.

      Or, in more medical terms, what we’re currently doing is the equivalent to cutting someone’s head off in order to operate on a brain tumor; it’s unethical, unnecessary, and will lead to even worse destruction while still leading to death, regardless.

    • 2020-05-26 at 4:11 pm

      Questions that come to mind as I look at these photos… Why aren’t they wearing masks or at least keeping 6 feet or more away from one another? Why is a former supervisor among them? Why do their signs only complain about Democrats when we have a Republican running the country and setting the national plan for fighting this thing? What businesses do these people represent? If I knew that, I could make sure I never do business with them again now that I see where their values lie…

  • 2020-05-22 at 6:42 pm

    I assume these selfish morons will sign a pledge NOT to clog the ICU when they contract COVID-19 in their magical world where the novel virus has agreed to float away? I guess not too many took BIO 101 or any science class at all. A lot of this white bread crowd look to be in that “hospitalization'” demographic. Minorties, and immigrants, that is essential workers now, do not have th luxury to be this stupid and dumb as these entitled morons.

    Note: Check out the Pentagon’s plan for the soon to be inevitable Second Wave we did not have to endure but thanks to morons as seen in this article, we will see. Thanks losers, for nothing.

  • 2020-05-22 at 8:39 pm

    Great to see people peacefully exercising their rights to regain the freedoms that are critical for our community. COVID-19 is certainly a serious illness, but there are a multitude of issues at stake, and the lockdown is hurting far more than it’s helping. Loudoun is ready to take a step forward, let’s enter phase one today.

    • 2020-05-23 at 9:28 am

      I agree, but unfortunately many people will disregard Phase 1 and no social distance or wear masks
      to protect others. They will act as if none of this ever happened and that it is all gone. There are plenty of people doing so now. For the elderly, disabled, individuals will serious underlying illnesses, this lack of empathy can be deadly. Everyone could very safely interact in public and business could proceed if everyone simply was compassionate and not selfish toward others.

  • 2020-05-22 at 9:13 pm

    The product of propoganda. Why not treat them like many other protesters, tear gas, and wood shampoos. The armed protesters in Michigan, locked up, and all the baggage that goes with it.
    First off they need to put on masks!

  • 2020-05-22 at 10:19 pm

    I hope the people of Loudoun consider these circumstances next time they vote.
    “But neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.” -Samuel Adams

    • 2020-05-23 at 9:25 am

      I agree. And currently, in the White House and both party major candidates for that position n 2020 certainly do not fulfill Samuel Adams’ last line. I often wonder why that is the best America can do these days?

    • 2020-05-25 at 4:05 pm

      Northam does not like masks or social distancing. You can see pictures of him on line in North Carolina without a mask and not practicing social distancing. Another politician do as I say not as I do.

  • 2020-05-23 at 9:11 am

    No mask, no distancing.
    Smart people will live, really stupid people will die.
    I expect nothing less from trump supporters.
    100,000 by the end of church Sunday.
    Cleaning up the gene pool one church at a time.

    • 2020-05-24 at 9:33 am

      Does your eliminationist rhetoric apply to mosques and synagogues as well Wolf, or just christians?

  • 2020-05-23 at 12:03 pm

    Selfish, morons, white bread, flat earthers, selfish, anti-vax crowd, entitled…. Yep, there’s all the talking point words these haters have learned from watching the hysterics on their cable news shows, and their Klan robe wearing master in Richmond. Very original.

    People exercising their First Amendment rights are bad. But people kneeling down to second rate petty politicians, who have no idea what their doing, except destroying peoples lives, are good.

    Move along bullies. I’m sure Phyllis has some cookies and milk for you in her office, along with some coloring books and stuffed animals, so you’ll all feel better and “safe.”

  • 2020-05-24 at 10:45 am

    For months, these self-proclaimed “experts” have changed their stories on a regular basis. And now the CDC is at it again! Remember when Corona would linger for days on surfaces? Well that appears to be wrong after a month-long, government-mandated, panicked shutdown.

    The governor and the BoS are really in over their heads on this matter too. The governor has done incalculable harm to the residents of 90% of Virginia and I get the feeling he doesn’t really care. The BoS literally begged the governor to keep Loudoun closed. Virginians deserve better governance than we are getting.

  • 2020-05-25 at 10:29 am

    Just a Republican stunt. I see Geary Higgins, former supervisior, out there maskless and protesting. What a joke. These people are so obsessed with their politics that they can never give it a rest…any opportunity, even a pandemic, is a great day to wave their freak flag…but they always try to be stealthy…

  • 2020-05-25 at 12:55 pm

    To think there was stealth involved you must either be in your safe basement or under a rock. We will be at the Government from 12 to 1, Tuesday and hopefully will be celebrating a phase 3 Reopening of Virginia from 9 am to 12 noon. C’mon on down Fact boy and if you drive by honk your horn!

  • 2020-05-25 at 2:23 pm

    I don’t care. I go to Warrenton now to do my business. Fairfax county’s tax loss.

  • 2020-05-25 at 8:49 pm

    Liberty is like fresh air and I am glad that we are in US, not in China. People need to know that this man-made virus flu is easy to transmit and won’t go away completely. Locking down the city too long will shut down many small businesses permanently. We could all suffer to rely on the government hand out which lead to high taxes to pay back the trillion dollars bail out. I guess a lot of people here employed by the government and get paid by the taxpayers’ money. so it won’t affect them as much in a short run. The govt workers and leaders are still getting paid for staying home. However, many small business owners and private workers are in different challenging financial situations. Even teh unemployment website doesn’t work when trying to claim unemployment benefit. So many people become unemployed and could not apply online because of the system is not working. There is a way to open up the business with safe precautions, such as Using masks, uv light to clean, filter the indoor air to kill virus, etc. We have a lot of people don’t have good health so it can be problem to fight virus. It is essential to build up the immune system by taking good supplement (zinc, vitamin D, Vitamin C, ginger, etc.) and eat organic (non-gmo) food, drink clean alkaline/filtered water, etc. Healthy people are being punished, wearing mask is not 100% safe for healthy people. Virus could land on plastic, steel, paper etc and stay for a few days. Wearing mask helps the sick people spreading the virus. There is no perfect solution. Either people take a risk or let the economy to collapse then everyone will be in a bad shape . We know the risk and people need to survive so open the city quickly and safely. This man made virus won’t disappear forever. In fact, the strains have been mutated from the original Wuhan virus. China has 2nd outbreak, it is worse to detect because it stays asymptomatic for longer time and it attacks lungs only. It takes longer to recover. Does Vaccine really helps against this man made coronavirus when the strains have been mutated more than 30 times already? Also, flu vaccine doesn’t guarantee to protect you from getting flu virus because it has different strains. In fact, it could lower your immune system. Best to eat well, sleep well, exercise to boost the immune system.

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