I’m writing in response to a recent letter from Pamela Brant (May 6), who calls for lifting the quarantine restrictions, to highlight some of the logical fallacies that are cited in support of her opinion.

Ms. Brant compares the death rates of COVID-19 with the death rates from cancer, and argues that since fewer people are dying from the virus than die of cancer, we should not be afraid to lift the restrictions. There are a number of problems with this argument. First, you can’t catch cancer at the Hannaford and find yourself on life support 10 days later. Second, there are many treatments that have been highly effective for cancer, and few, if any, for COVID. Who lives and who dies from it seems barely more than random chance.

But most importantly, the numbers of COVID deaths are low because of the restrictions. Lifting the restrictions, the scientists tell us, will cause increased deaths, and raise the chances of any one of us contracting this deadly virus, spreading it to our loved ones and dying from it. Because we in Maine are doing a good job dealing with this virus does not mean that we should stop those efforts.

I fully appreciate the economic stress we are under as a state. Our economy and our communities will be much worse off if we have a resurgence of cases in Maine, as opposed to a gradual reopening with precautions. Gov. Mills is striking the right balance on this extremely difficult issue.

Elizabeth Stout

Portland

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