To the Editor:

I was appalled by the opening of the Sunday River Brew Pub prior to receiving approval from our Governor and her medical advisors. The apparent lack of concern for those of us who are older, who might have existing conditions and who might be at risk of serious and potentially fatal complications from COVID-19 is beyond belief.

Does nearly 80,000+ deaths (as of May 9) not mean anything to the owners? Oxford County has been winning the battle against this disease, in large part because of the closing of businesses, wearing facemasks and social distancing. Many of us saw the May 1 news coverage of the restaurant where there were few facemasks, and little if any social distancing outside the restaurant. Rick Savage, the apparent face of the Brew Pub, said he couldn’t control people’s actions.

Well, if a few days later, when the Brew Pub reopened, Ron Savage demanded that news reporters leave the property or be arrested, it seems clear that the owners could certainly have controlled the behavior of those allowed on their property. Although restaurants will soon be able to open under carefully controlled conditions, and from recent news reports, the owners are now trying to enact appropriate distancing measures, earlier actions potentially negate all we have achieved in perhaps a single day.

I would note that I have a daughter (physician’s assistant in NJ) and a son-in-law (firefighter/paramedic in ME) who are on the front lines. My daughter in particular has had to deal with almost 2 dozen nursing home deaths in a single facility, and she has said others will likely follow. The effort and valor of these two and thousands like them have been totally disrespected by Sunday River Brew Pub management. I personally have had my last meal at the Brew Pub. I realize that I make little difference to their bottom line, but if other like-minded people make the same choice, perhaps the message will be received.

Mark Hutchins

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