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Don’t be so unwelcoming

To the editor:

I was saddened to see the response of some of our elected officials to second homeowners coming up here to escape the horrific conditions in New York City.

These people pay taxes up here that you are only too happy to collect. They support many of our local institutions (hospital, arts, historical societies, restaurants and businesses).

They, more than any of us, are aware of how contagious the virus is, and don’t want to catch it or spread it. Presumably, they have been watching the governor’s daily briefings and understand that a 14-day quarantine is necessary for anyone who has been in New York City, the downstate counties or anywhere else in the last three weeks. Indeed we count on them to self-quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus in their (and our) community.

I understand that as a small community with drawn-out supply lines, small hospitals and few doctors, we are concerned about our stores and hospitals being overwhelmed. However, if you look on the walls of the Adirondack Medical Center you will see the names of many GENEROUS individuals who donated the money that allowed us to have such a facility. I daresay that many of those donors are second home owners who gave gladly so that the locals could enjoy first-rate care. I doubt if many of them thought at that time that they would be glad they had done it in the face of this terrible state and nationwide emergency.

The important point is that we are all human beings, Americans, New Yorkers and Adirondackers, and need to be helping each other in as many ways as possible during the pandemic. We all need to join together (from 6 feet away) to weather this storm. When it is all over, we will be a stronger country — not because we turned our backs on our fellow citizens, but because we welcomed them.

Parmalee Tolkan

Lake Placid

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