Turnabout is fair play, the saying goes, so what is happening in New York is ironic.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he is concerned out-of-staters will travel to New York and reverse the state’s COVID-19 infection rate, which is the lowest in the U.S., following premature economic reopenings in other states and mass protests over the last several weeks.

Not long ago, if you recall, Cuomo chided small rural counties like Greene and Columbia for circling the wagons to keep out downstaters who wanted to come here and get away from New York City, then seething with the coronavirus.

Moreover, our neighbors were saying they didn’t want people from New York coming to their states because they feared interlopers would deliver the virus.

Now, the shoe is on the other foot. New Yorkers are afraid people from the other states might come here and increase the viral spread.

New York is fortunate to have the lowest COVID-19 transmission rate in the nation. Arizona has the highest rate of transmission at 1.21 percent. The next three states have similar infection rates at 1.11% in Alaska and 1.10% in Vermont and Arkansas.

Cuomo noted this development in his daily briefing Monday.

“We are the exception here in New York,” he said. “God bless us, but we are the exception. We don’t want the same plight of these other states. Talk about great irony: One of our concerns now in New York is that people from the other states that have a high rate of increase of the COVID virus may start traveling to New York.”

Greene and Columbia counties, as are all other communities, are still searching for a way forward, medically and economically. We need visitors to be part of that way forward. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but closing our towns and villages to outsiders is a medieval approach that will do no good.

Another saying is in order here: What goes around comes around. Talk about great irony, indeed.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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