A Serious Post: Maine is Shutting Down (For Now)

“Welcome To Maine, Now Go Home!” was a popular playful bumper sticker in the 1980s and 90s. As someone who will always be considered “from away” despite having first moved in Maine in 1986 I get it. However, the current sentiment is actually quite dire and with good reason. As of yesterday’s Maine CDC update we have less than 80 available ICU beds for the entire state of Maine.  Non-essential businesses, save for a few exceptions, are closed. The York town manager plans to ask the police department to put signs near the Maine Turnpike exit to warn visitors the beaches and parks are closed. “We don’t need the day trippers right now,” he said, noting local residents can get out for walks in their neighborhoods. Additionally as of yesterday beaches in southern Maine are now closed and Acadia National Park is also now closed due to coronavirus. I suspect that the beaches in my town will close. Portland has a shelter-in-place in effect. 

Yet we are Vacationland with thousands of snowbirds, seasonal residents and vacationers, many of whom are coming to Maine early to “escape” coronavirus and their local shelter-in-place mandates. Our population is growing yet we don’t even have the hospital resources for the year-round residents in this pandemic. This is terrifying. I hope people will choose to do the right thing as opposed to practicing their right to go and do as they please.

16 thoughts on “A Serious Post: Maine is Shutting Down (For Now)

      1. I’m not surprised! Vermont’s ski industry and foliage seekers do the same. I lived in the middle of several ski areas for many years and our town’s population was just over 400. However, in ski season, the condos swelled that number to thousands. Our ski areas were all closed last week, so no spring skiing this year. The impact on our state budget, as in Maine, will be horrific!

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  1. We too are feeling the conflict: Juneau Alaska has about 30k full time residents and usually gets about a million summer cruise ship visitors. Cruise lines have canceled operations – wisely, mind you – into May. We are trying to figure out what to do.

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    1. I didn’t realize you are in Juneau! I used to be obsessed with moving to Alaska and when I moved to Maine, considered it “Alaska in training”, ha. I did change my mind not long after. I need more daylight!

      I had no idea you got that many cruise ship visitors. We also have a similar issue here in Portland. Because of a Canadian ban we’ll lose around 50 scheduled cruise ship visits so far, and Portland has cancelled the first two out of 119 scheduled visits. Of course more cancellations may come.

      Obviously that will be a loss of revenue for AK and ME, but with lives on the line it’s prudent for now.

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  2. It’s like the South’s and East Coast’s category 5 hurricane instincts have kicked in. 😂.
    Maybe they need to say this is a blizzard/tornado style emergency. Not a fire/hurricane emergency.
    I think it’s weird they’re shutting off outdoor things. I thought sunshine killed viruses, and vitamin D helped fighting them off too.

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    1. It’s that too many people were congregating on the beaches, and, according to the article, many were “day trippers” from out of state. By closing beaches and parks they are hoping it will discourage crowding and early visitors. It makes me so sad since I and everyone was looking forward to walking on the beach. Right now I’m heading out for a walk or five around the block!

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      1. Isn’t amazing how so many people can get the same idea? “I know! We get away from everyone by going to the beach!” Get there and everyone is already there.
        I hope your five times around the neighborhood is stimulating. ♥️

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    1. I wrote the Governor asking her to order people from out of state to self-isolate for fourteen days similar to Florida but that hasn’t happened. Many people want her to shut down the border which isn’t an option.

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