For as long as there have been regions, there have been regional differences. People often complain about vacationers, seasonal residents, and travelers from different states. But this is different. Several state governments have effectively told New Yorkers to stay away, lest they infect the domestic citizens with the coronavirus.
It’s left New Yorkers feeling a bit miffed.
Last week, Rhode Island, Florida and West Virginia told people from the Empire State to stay away.
Rhode Island went as far as to post state troopers at its border to stop cars with New York license plates, requiring occupants to go into quarantine if they intend to stay.
Michelle Chu, 44, a graphics producer who lives Manhattan, said:
“How is this fair. I mean, this thing is already everywhere.”
“I know people are worried, but this should be based on whether you’re sick or not. For all we know, everyone’s already exposed. I don’t see how this helps.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis earlier this week issued an executive order that requires New Yorkers and other passengers arriving at Florida’s airports from New York to self-isolate for two weeks. It was unclear how long the order would be in place.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice said on Friday some people were coming to his state “to get away from a real big-time issue where they’re at.”
He said it was essential that anyone coming to his state, “especially those from New York,” go into quarantine for 14 days, although he didn’t explain how it would work.
Rhode Island laid down the strictest rules, with Governor Gina Raimondo requiring anyone from New York who intends to stay in her state to self-quarantine for 14 days, no matter what their state of health. If they are motorists who say they are just passing through, then fine.
Rhode Island state police and the National Guard were also screening people who arrive at the T.F. Green International Airport in Warwick, asking them to provide information about their travel plans.
It’s likely that the governors and state legislators taking these actions are sincerely concerned about health, but there has to be more than few people thinking that they finally have a legitimate reason for keeping New Yorkers out of their state.