The Maine Tourism Association advocated against 14-day quarantines for out-of-state visitors earlier this month – despite this being a common-sense public health precaution.

The moral disgrace of sacrificing Grandma for The Economy aside, it turns out that these reckless pleas were also poor business insight; people are flocking to longer-term summer rentals and even welcome the quarantine because of its safety-mindedness. One renter told The New York Times that their quarantine is something that “we respect and appreciate.”

If we are supposed to believe the fiction that corporations and businesses are people, then they should at least be expected to respect the health of the public and not use their outsized influence to attempt to bend the rule of law. It seems reasonable to ask them to operate within the bounds of human decency.

Indeed, some businesses find the capacity to see beyond impulsive profit motive to consider the well-being of the community and their neighbors. This is behavior we should reward; the other we should punish.

The tourism lobby is not alone in absurd behavior. Recall when the Maine State Chamber of Commerce (and Portland Regional Chamber) fought paid sick leave that brought parity with the rest of the developed world. As we witness “human cost” over ledger cost, such opposition seems silly for workers-cum-heroes.

Keep all this in mind as we notice things like The Brewers Guild advocating early reopening even though Maine fails the baseline testing and tracing capacity required for a safe reopening.

Jai Kang

Portland

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