Jesus! We really are a third world country.

Courtesy of Yahoo News

Reuters is taking an unprecedented step to protect its reporters stationed in the U.S. this Election Day.

The news agency has more than 2,500 journalists stationed in 200 locations around the world, the U.K.’s Press Gazette reports. And with many of those reporters covering conflict zones, Reuters is no stranger to issuing protective gear and taking other measures to keep its employees safe.

But this year, “our concern about the safety of journalists in the U.S. is unprecedentedly high,” Reuters’ editor-in-chief Stephen Adler tells the Press Gazette. “My own observation, both here and around the world, is that wearing that big ‘PRESS’ on your chest is no longer as much of a protection as it might once have been,” Adler went on. “Sometimes the press are targets, or sometimes just the fact that they’re press is simply ignored.” So Reuters is taking an admittedly “odd” step and distributing flak vests, helmets, and gas masks, as well as COVID-19 protective equipment, to reporters, Adler said.

The decision comes after reporters, including some for Reuters, were hit with rubber bullets and tear gas by law enforcement cracking down on nationwide protests over the summer. The Department of Homeland Security has already tasked some of its immigration enforcement agencies with protecting federal property in anticipation of possible protests following Tuesday’s election.

Businesses across the country are also taking unprecedented precautions.

 Courtesy of CNN:

Retailers across the country are stepping up security measures to try to head off any damages to their stores during election-related protests in the coming days.

Tiffany, Saks Fifth Avenue, CVS, Target and Macy’s are among the chains that are boarding up some of their stores’ windows in preparation.

“While we intend to remain open where possible, out of an abundance of caution the windows of select stores in key cities will be boarded in anticipation of potential election related activity,” said Nathan Strauss, spokesperson for Tiffany (TIF).

Stores around the country were damaged this summer, and merchandise was stolen during protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Retailers are hoping to prevent this from happening again.

CVS (CVS) said it is boarding up stores in areas where they have been damaged by unrest in the past. Stores where windows are covered “will continue to be open to serve customers as long as it is safe to do so,” said CVS spokesperson Mike DeAngelis.

Tom Buiocchi, CEO of ServiceChannel, an online platform that connects retailers with local contractors, said 750 stores have requested orders on the platform to board up their windows around the country since October 27, with the most in California, New York and Illinois. The cost to board up stores has ranged from $124 to $31,000, depending on the size, according to Buiocchi.

They keep on telling me this is still America, but it certainly does not feel like America. 

Stay safe my friends, and remember if we do our part this will all be over soon.