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Walsh: Boston success in driving down Covid-19 rates could become a reason for tourists to come here

COVID-19 Media Availability 7/7/20

Even as Boston relaxes its Covid-19 restrictions more next week and museums and other tourist attractions begin to re-open, Mayor Walsh isn't expecting an immediate return to our traditional tourst-crammed streets.

"We're still a bit away before we see that booming thriving tourism industry,'" Walsh, whose City Hall office overlooks Faneuil Hall, said at a press conference today. He said that as people watch their own cities' Covid-19 numbers rise exponentially, they're not going to want to get on a plane or in a car and come here. Yet.

Walsh was optimistic and said that Boston's success to date in tamping down Covid-19 numbers could one day become a tourist attraction all by itself - people might want to come here because they know they're unlikely to contract the virus here.

We could be the first city that truly recovers from Covid-19 and people, when they start to travel again, come to Boston because our numbers are so low.

Walsh did not discuss how the city might protect its residents from potential Covid-19 infection from visitors coming from places with high Covid-19 rates.

Theoretically, visitors from outside New England, New York and New Jersey are supposed to self quarantine for two weeks after arriving in Massachusetts, but the state is not actively enforcing that.

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Comments

I'm not convinced that 6-foot markings on the floor and cloth masks are enough. I wouldn't want to undo all our hard work and efforts to stay home by encouraging tourists to gather in museums and restaurants and stuff.

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Voting closed 58

Do you have any reason to think masks and distancing aren't working or, "just a hunch".

Massachusetts' numbers dropped quickly once masks were mandated and people have generally been good about wearing them compared to the rest of the country. Same goes for NYC. So the data has shown masks are pretty effective since there's now a good deal of movement without an equal rise in cases.

I'm more concerned/annoyed by the number of people who don't use masks indoors, particularly in public places. Ignoring the indoor mask mandate is the biggest risk and if it continues, the case numbers will rise. But on the flip side, if everyone wears a mask indoors, the numbers will stay low.

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We know that masks help. We know that distancing helps. We can't consider them to be 100% solutions, particularly when people do such a crappy job of wearing them. When I picked up bagels a couple of weeks ago, people waiting informed an unmasked tourist couple that they would need to go home and get their masks or no bagels - and they looked very confused about being required to wear masks. They had not been through what we have been through and were definitely not with the program!

We also know that we had SARS-CoV-2 brought to us through travel, and there is no reason to think that travelers from Florida in July and travelers from Italy in February would be much different in their ability to reignite the firestorm that we just beat back.

I really don't think that we know enough to promote the area as a vacation spot, and we shouldn't be doing so. MA has enough people who are cooped up at this point to fill the museums. I'd rather spend our "viral risk capital" on getting the schools reopened in some form in September.

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Voting closed 45

For chrissakes, do you even read what someone wrote before attacking them? He didn't say masks etc. "aren't working", he said he's not convinced they're "enough". Which, if you think about it logically, is almost the opposite attitude of what you attributed to him.

Maybe you just get your jollies by attacking people?

Jeez, why am I even online. People are sickening, even more than this virus is.

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Do you have any reason to think masks and distancing aren't working or, "just a hunch".

I think they are working, but we do need to be cautious about messaging. Most people are simpletons, frankly, and look for guarantees where there are none, and if you tell them that something is "safe", they may adhere to the letter of the "rule" but miss the point. And information changes. There's been quite a lot in the past 24 hours about the possibility of airborne transmission -- not "yes, there is airborne transmission", and saying nothing about masks, but raising the possibility that droplets may persist longer/travel farther than previously thought.

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"as people watch their own cities' Covid-19 numbers rise exponentially," why would we want them to come here?

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I am very proud of my state and capital city (I can't really call it my city anymore), but statements like that scare me a bit.

We shouldn't go hide in our holes, but we can't honestly expect a perfect turn around either. We should also be preparing for the many students coming back in the fall (even though many schools will have fewer actually on campus).

I hope Walsh and others are projecting optimism but quietly (at least a little) pessimistic and preparing behind the scenes.

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Voting closed 55

tempting fate. Ack

Has he checked on California's fleeting success.

Or maybe Melbourne, Australia or Lisbon, Portugal.

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“Walsh did not discuss how the city might protect its residents from potential Covid-19 infection from visitors coming from places with high Covid-19 rates.”

Marty really needs to think this through before suggesting Boston could lure tourists here to enjoy the relatively lower risk of infection we Bostonians have worked towards.

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Voting closed 59

Local dollars all year >>> tourist dollars whenever they come

I'm still not comfortable heading back to restaurants or shopping or going pretty much anywhere people are congregating.

Adding tourists from virus-ridden states certainly won't help me get back out there sooner. And without that base, even a huge surge of tourists won't save the businesses that need regular spending from locals.

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Local dollars all year >>> tourist dollars whenever they come

Agreed, but try telling mayors that. Menino was extremely agile at chasing after tourist dollars without ever calculating the costs (both direct and opportunity costs), and Walsh seems cut from the same cloth.

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.

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Aren't who I'm worried about.

With cheap flights, hotels, and rental cars; a summer trip to Boston while it's quiet is a perfect getaway for the bored retiree from Florida or Arizona who's got money, time, and an unrealistic sense of invulnerability.

As Swamp Thing would say, "We don't want your evil here".

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Walsh: Tourists cited as reason for driving up Covid-19 rates

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The Defund crowed to suck and egg, as did Gross. Finally Marty has a spin.

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Only 2 other states (NY, NJ) have had as many deaths as Massachusetts has had. That may change but "tourist destination because of success managing Covid) seems premature.

We've actually done HORRIBLY and many people have paid the ultimate price.

How about figuring out how to get childcare and schools safely reopened so parents can get back to work full time? If we do everything right then the damn tourists will show up in time but as a country we're a long way from that right now.

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That is not how this works Marty! Otherwise I would be on a beach in New Zealand right now.

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Useless Marty's solution is to check your basement where the kids may have hidden the fireworks. Thanks Marty. We can't wait to vote you out of office.

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Antisocial behavior and crime rates have dramatically increased since the lockdown. And the majority of people I encounter daily in town, on the subway, etc. are super anxious and depressing to be around. I had one woman on the train coming home from work this afternoon who kept looking up at me every time I moved a muscle, eyes bulging above her mask. Same thing driving. People are acting crazy.

For safety reasons alone, I would not encourage anyone to visit.

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What can people do here? No Sox games, restaurants/bars are limited. Only so many people allowed in museums. There’s no reason to come to Boston until it’s fully open, which it should’ve been a month ago.

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...so we could look today like the states who did exactly that?

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You can do quite a bit in Boston outside. Most of our local history is very open air based.

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We don't have enough Covid-19, lets import it.

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Just because a few things are kind of open. Plenty of other places are more open and have outdoor activities. Watch the news, people are going there regardless of cases.

The people who want to avoid any possibility of catching it are staying home.

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