-As the COVID-19 virus infects person after person, I just realized that it is getting harder and harder to leave Arizona.

As we all know the “virus” has been spreading like a wildfire on a red flag day across our state. What you may not realize is that other states will no longer allow you to enter their lands without first going through a 14-day quarantine period.

On Wednesday New York, New Jersey and Connecticut instituted a 14-day quarantine rule for people traveling to their states from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas.

In fact, you cannot even go to Kansas without going through a quarantine period — not that I have any desire to go to the Sunflower State. Kansas is also requiring citizens from Alabama, Arkansas and Maryland to first experience a 14-day quarantine.

Cruise ship travels and international travelers are also subject to a quarantine in Kansas as well as most states.

Other states that have restrictions on those traveling from Arizona include Vermont, Rhode Island, Ohio, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Hawaii and Alaska.

If you travel to New York and do not self-quarantine, you could be subject to fines of up to $2,000 for the first offense. That fine can go up to $5,000 for a second offense and up to $10,000 if anyone was harmed by your unwillingness to quarantine.

We are also banned from travel to Europe, along with the quarantine restrictions in 13 states.

What this all means is that Arizona is a virus hot spot and we all know that has been going on for a while.

I’ve noticed in the past week that quite a few people whom I personally know have been positive for the COVID-19 virus. Until now, “just other people” were getting it, but suddenly COVID-19 is starting to become reality.

Still many people, including our president, are not wearing masks. People on social media have launched online protests to the wearing of masks, even using the pro-abortion message “My Body, My Choice.”

Wednesday, a Scottsdale city council member led an anti-mask rally in Scottsdale.

It’s a mask, not an infringement of your civil liberties. I know they are cumbersome, uncomfortable and hard to breath in. For heaven’s sake, I have asthma.

Still, I’m wearing that mask when I go out. It is the least I can do to help stop the spread of COVID-19 during this global health emergency.

Look at the numbers.

There have been more than 9.6 million cases of COVID in the world with 2.5 million in the United States.

While 490,000 people died from the virus on the planet, an amazing 4.9 million have recovered. That’s a good number. Sadly 127,000 people have died from it in the US and 767,000 Americans have recovered.

Arizona has the 12th most COVID-19 infected cases in the nation right now with just under 66,000 people infected, 1,535 dead and just over 50,000 active cases right now. The aggregation site Worldometer, which monitors the virus, is projecting 7,240 Arizonans will die from COVID by the end of September.

Surprisingly, I think that number might be on the light side based on their past projections vs. real numbers coming in. The Worldometer also projects that more than 10,000 new cases per day are expected by the end of September in Arizona alone.

I’m not trying to frighten you by sharing these projections, I’m just trying to show you why you will not be able to travel much outside of Arizona in the coming months.

Get used to staying indoors, Arizona, it’s going to be a very long summer.

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Justice reporter Jim Headley can be reached at jheadley@pinalcentral.com.

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