To the editor:

In the March 31 edition of the Gloucester Daily Times, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, warned of a rise in COVID-19 cases nationally. In Rockport and Gloucester, restaurants are again planning to host outside eating areas, some as early as this month. Groups of people dining outdoors will remove their protective masks while sitting unprotected next to others, and passers-by, during their meals. This practice will be repeated daily, all summer long. Will this behavior not only heighten the danger of exposure to COVID-19 but also pose a threat to passers-by? What about the hourly ingestion of exhaust by passing vehicles? Will these outdoor restaurants practice proper “social-distancing?” This pandemic, and its consequences, are far from over.

Nathaniel S. Johnson


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