There has been much debate over Gov. Mills’s 14-day quarantine for out-of-state visitors. Business owners in rural parts of the state, which have very low numbers of Covid-19 cases, are eager to reopen for tourist season.

For those who say “the virus isn’t in my town,” I’m afraid the fastest way to bring it here is to invite residents of Massachusetts and New York to come visit.

As of May 19, the Boston Public Health Commission reported approximately 7,000 active, confirmed virus cases among residents. Boston‘s population is about 700,000, meaning 1% are currently infected.

But those are confirmed cases; public health experts tell us the actual total is much higher, with half of cases asymptomatic and likely undiagnosed. So let’s conservatively say that 2.5 percent of Bostonians are contagious but perfectly healthy for a trip to Maine.

Consider these probabilities calculated using the simple methods of Joshua Weitz, Professor of Quantitative Biology at Georgia Tech. If ten Boston residents eat at a restaurant, there is a 23 percent chance that one has COVID-19. Sixty staying in a small hotel? 78 percent chance of a COVID carrier. And 200 visiting Acadia means a greater than 99 percent chance that one of them brought the virus with them.

I want our economy back, but we’ve done too good a job and sacrificed too much to open our doors to places where the virus runs rampant.

Daniel Smith
Yarmouth


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