Letter to the editor: New guidelines are inconsistent

Dear Governor Scott,

I am disturbed by the unrefined nature of the recent COVID-19 mitigation pronouncement  — “Attendance at all public and private social gatherings, indoor and outdoor ... shall be limited to participation with only members of a single household.” I understand in urban areas and towns, where clusters in parks, yards and sidewalks may present close contact opportunities, that such measures are sensible. This does not account for the open spaces of rural towns and dirt roads where two residents may walk 10 to 15 feet apart and not meet another individual. I find the nature of “prohibiting” “all gatherings” lumps such safe excursions into a category that makes no sense for reality.

How is this more problematic than specifying that “Restaurants must close in-person dining at 10 p.m., but may provide curbside and delivery service after 10 p.m. For in-person dining, restaurants must seat only one household per table.” Really? THIS does not constitute a “gathering “ of unrelated individuals, yet a properly distanced outdoor walk is “not permitted?”

I’m also curious about the multistate curfew time of 10 p.m. — not sure how prior to 10 p.m. is safer — though I suppose individuals tend to drink more and more alcohol the later it gets and thus make poor choices.

We need a much more nuanced approach to what is described as a  “gathering,” as well as guidance for individuals to make intelligent, informed choices.

Barbara Thompson-Snow MPH RN


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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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