Governor Janet Mills of Maine has given the go-ahead for people to engage in camping, fishing, hunting, and other physical exercise as the state begins to crack down on social and public gatherings in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The report is coming just after the Governor’s Office ordered that people should stay home and practice safe social distancing as they try to deal with the viral outbreak. The executive order confirms that the indoor restrictions will last through April 30 for now, although further restrictions could be in play.
Great for the Body and Mind
Per a report from the Piscataquis Observer published yesterday, Judy Casumo, the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, explained that the administration has come to find the importance of activities such as these for both physical and mental well-being.
In a time when people are restricted from moving out much, they understand that outdoor activities are essential in keeping people “sane.”
“Getting outside to go fishing, hiking, canoeing, scouting for a hunt, or other outdoor activities are essential to not only your physical health, but your mental health as well, particularly during these difficult times,”
She explained, adding that the administration is encouraging people to get active as much as they can, while also staying home and respecting the laid-out guidelines.
“While it is important for your mental health to get outside, it is also important to do so safely.”
Mainers are notoriously active while outdoors, and as the news medium explained, a study showed that the state ranked third in the United States in the percentage of residents who actively engage in outdoor recreation. AS the Governor’s executive order explains, people can continue to engage in these activities, while staying very cautious.
In addition to the allowance, the Commissioner and Governor also extended the renewal period for boating registrations and suspended the fishing license requirement until April 30, so people can come out and engage in their favorite activities.
The state already has over 350 confirmed cases of the virus, with seven people reported dead – according to an outline from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
It is now the 29th state to issue stay-at-home directives, and just like many others, only people who have essential purchases and jobs will be allowed to leave their homes.
Businesses such as pharmacies, grocery stores, and healthcare providers will remain open.
Maine Still Has It Better than Most
The state’s guidance for exercising and outdoor activities maintains that people will need to stay at least 6 feet away from others outside their houses. People can also move to provide care for their family members, and public transportation will also be available – but only for people who need to make essential trips.
Of course, the coronavirus situation in Maine is much less challenging in what we have in areas like New York. The state already has over 90,000 confirmed cases, while deaths are moving quickly towards the 2,500 thresholds.
On Thursday, New York City officials advised everyone in the city to put on scarves, masks, and other face coverings whenever they go out of their houses for whatever reason. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio explained that people should use their makeshift masks instead, as they face a shortage of surgical N-95 masks for now.
The shortage of facilities is now state-wide, as a New York Times report confirmed that New York has less than a week’s worth of ventilators left. As Governor Andrew Cuomo explained on Thursday, the state will run out of ventilators at the rate at which patients using them.
With cases still surging and hitting new highs, it’s anyone’s guess how bad things could get.