The latest news in the ongoing story of the COVID-19 pandemic is a bit startling, and many will see it as unnecessarily extreme: Connecticut has joined New York and New Jersey in asking travelers arriving from states with high coronavirus infection rates to go into quarantine for 14 days. Gov. Ned Lamont described the travel advisory, which started Thursday, as “urgent guidance.”
That’s just as well, because such an order is nearly unenforceable, and goes against a centuries-old tradition of openness between the states. In effect, we’ve gone from encouraging tourism to shunning it.
And yet, it seems reasonable in view of the recent surge in virus rates in many states, while the tri-state area has had creditable success in controlling the spread of the infection. Our numbers are getting better, while theirs are getting worse.
Indeed, some states look downright irresponsible in “opening up” retail and entertainment venues despite evidence of widespread bad public behavior. As of Wednesday, states over the threshold were Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas.
Therefore, we reluctantly endorse this move by the three governors. “This too shall pass” will eventually apply even to the current pandemic — but it hasn’t passed yet.
There are, however, at least a few points of light shining through the present gloom:
■Connecticut plans to bring all students back to the classroom in the fall, according to details released on Thursday. Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona said the plan is based on the current situation involving COVID-19 cases in the state, but the plan could change if there are spikes.■ The Meriden-Wallingford Community Foundation Coronavirus Response Fund, spearheaded by the Meriden-Wallingford United Way, has given $137,280 to 20 nonprofit agencies in the area.■ Local restaurants have begun opening their doors to customers for the first time in three months, since the governor’s order has been lifted. The limited indoor seating comes with pages of guidelines from the state.■ And sailors and workers at Connecticut’s Navy submarine base in Groton can once more enjoy food deliveries from local restaurants, a service that hasn’t been available since March 27.
All are small but positive steps toward normality.