Restricting New Yorkers From Traveling to Vermont


Panicked New Yorkers are rushing into the Green Mountains for “protection” -- theirs, not ours. Their self-protection is now Vermont’s contagion.

Perhaps it is already too late, but as New York worsens, the problem will escalate. Early on, it was evident there was a serious problem of flocks of New Yorkers infecting Vermonters -- 5 of the first 16 Vermont cases of COVID-19 were out-of-staters. The Vermont Health Department stopped reporting the origin of infections -- political correctitude trumps public safety, apparently.

In response to voices raised in alarm, VTDigger crafted a propaganda piece assuring us (anecdotally) that such claims were merely anecdotal:

Stories of out-of-state plates clogging up supermarket parking lots have been legion online. Many VTDigger readers have emailed anecdotal reports of this out-of-state invasion…. Noticing out-of-state license plates, and watching blog traffic, is about as scientific as it’s going to get when we try to determine whether second-home owners really are heading here in greater-than-usual numbers…. I also talked to a half-dozen volunteer fire department chiefs, because second-home owners are generally pretty active on those departments. If they had been coming into town, they were probably checking in to see if they could help.

This article is perversely contrived. Instead of investigating actual first-hand reports of Vermont stores swamped by New Yorkers, this “reporter” speculates that those here came “ see if they could help.” This would be hysterical, if the consequences of dismissing reality for partisan ends were not so deadly.

Why should Vermont’s grocery clerks be exposed to coronavirus by New Yorkers who are breaking their own state’s laws to selfishly horde Vermonters’ food? How about healthcare workers? -- When New Yorkers flock to our hospitals with the germs they transported, why do my wife and daughter have to be put in harm’s way?

New York is clearly the United States epicenter of this pandemic, with many (anecdotal?) reports of city-dwellers flouting orders to stay home, even staging defiant "virus parties" to demonstrate how brave and selfish they are:

When Britain was being bombed by Nazi Germany during the blitz, they kept the f–king stores open. People went about their lives, said another partygoer, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of workplace reprisals. We get a flu … and we shut everything down. … We have completely handed over our civil liberties … and anyone who wants to go out and live a normal life is semi-ostracized.

Presently, to “go out and live a normal life” is to “go out and murder people who are at risk.” In criminal law, this is called wanton malice -- shooting into a home, for instance, without concern whether a bullet might kill someone.

VTDigger’s report manipulated logic in dismissing concerns about out-of-staters traveling here:

Like many, many others I spoke to about out-of-towners, Birong noted people from elsewhere are often longtime members of the community, sometimes with deep family ties there. They may be tagged with the quote-unquote flatlander thing, but a lot of them have been faces and parts of the community for a long time, said Birong. They've been paying property taxes — actually at an elevated rate.

But what does this have to do with slowing deaths from a pandemic -- is it OK to “heighten the curve” because they have close family ties, or are paying property taxes? Like “many, many others I spoke to,” I think Vermonters are longtime community members with close family ties, who pay taxes -- and are complying with their government’s command not to travel.

My wife is an RN, with limited if any protective gear. My daughter is an EMT, who has asthma and is at risk -- why should they go to work and risk their lives when our government is being so reckless and negligent? Haven’t any of these people watched horror movies about the need to hunker down in a pandemic? Why then now that it is reality are they making excuses like “longtime connections,” “pay taxes,” and “anecdotal reports”? By what ludicrous fantasy are those legitimate excuses to violate a stay-at-home order? Shall the Governor add these excuses to the exceptions from quarantine? Vermont’s present reality is becoming more surreal than a pandemic movie.

Particularly alarming is that Vermont is demographically similar to Italy, where an aging population has suffered apocalyptic decimation, with substantially higher mortality rates than most other nations. Vermont has a larger percentage of elderly people than New York, (Vermont is 4th oldest in the nation; New York ranks 26th). Also, many Vermonters are at risk who suffer from COPD, and many are immuno-compromised.

Rhode Island and other states have declared they will detain New Yorkers within their borders -- they have confirmed cases of New Yorkers infecting their citizenry. (See “Rhode Island to Hunt Down New Yorkers Seeking Refuge,” Vermont is instead sticking its head in the sand -- hindsight will show that VTDigger, our Governor, and our Health Department, acted like the bad guys in a horror movie -- why bother closing our schools while opening the door from the infected region so its denizens can infect our children, or leave them orphaned? And why should Vermonters not just travel widely, with a double standard that applies restrictions to them while inviting infected New Yorkers to come here with a red carpet.

This creates a moral hazard. As Rhode Island and other states smarten up, panicked New Yorkers are hearing a welcoming, if idioitic, message from Vermont. Instead of staying in their place, they are being ushered into ours.

Let the record show...