Social distancing is biology, not politics

Dear Editor:

I continue to be fascinated by the concepts of “quarantine” and “social distancing” and the manner in which they are not applied or supported by our own state population.

Our Governor, her stalwart staff and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have, since the pandemic began in Maine, imposed quarantine on many categories of citizens and visitors. They have additionally pleaded with all of us to wear masks and maintain a distance of 6 feet between us all. This is so that we, the mask wearers, do not unknowingly spread the virus to others. It is now clear some businesses in Maine are not enforcing the signs that they post on their own doors indicating that “Masks Must Be Worn.” The shops seem to be undermining the policies that they themselves have stated.

One large Maine-owned chain posts a sign at their entrances with its own intrinsic contradiction.

“Governor Janet Mills has ordered that all customers must wear a mask when entering this store. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, you do not need to wear one. If you are not wearing one, we will assume this is the case. Due to HIPPA and the Fourth Amendment, we will not ask you about your condition.”

To the best of my knowledge, there are no conditions for which wearing a mask is contraindicated. If there is one, it is so rare that the rarely afflicted customer might consider not going to the store for the sake of his or her neighbors. As I entered that store, donning a mask, it became quite clear that more than 90 percent of the patrons, then present, had this rare condition.

Jeff Milliken, MD

East Blue Hill

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