Letter to the Editor: The cost of failure 

To the Editor: 

I’m an annual visitor to Southwest Harbor, going on 40 years, and managed to comply with the Governor’s COVID-19 requirements to get here from California a few days ago. An avid hiker, I found all the people I’ve met on the trails with a mask at the ready and a willingness to move over and provide appropriate distance. I had my first restaurant dinner since March at Bass Harbor’s Seafood Ketch Thursday and was pleased to see the efforts the restaurant had made to fulfill social distancing requirements, at a cost of losing potential revenue space. To my surprise, some other restaurants do not do as well and appear to be health hazards. On Sunday night, one of my favorites, on Main Street, had table spacing as it had been in my previous annual visits, and the bar had patrons seated side by side. Another, which had carefully marked off every other table, to create social distancing, had a crowded bar. An outdoor lobster pound had customers elbow to elbow waiting to give their orders. 

It’s a pleasure for me to see so much business activity, a sign that this little town that I love so well will continue to thrive even in the challenging time of COVID-19, but I can’t help worrying that failure to set and keep high standards when it comes to dealing with the virus will lead to spreading the disease, as those patrons who were packed too closely come in contact with one or two asymptomatic carriers of the virus and return to their home communities. 

Peter Stern

Manset/Palo Alto, Calif. 

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