Across the US, people have been fleeing big cities to ride out the coronavirus pandemic in small towns — and locals are not happy about it. 
In recent weeks, an influx of people have come to shelter in their second homes in Sedona, an artsy desert town of about 10,300 people in central Arizona. The increase in numbers is so big that the mayor, Sandy Moriarty, has asked visitors to stay away, as Kurtis Lee, Richard Read, and Jaweed Kaleem reported for The Los Angeles Times.
Tourists have been seen hiking popular trails and camping in local campgrounds, the mayor told a local TV station.
“It’s incredible,” Moriarty said. “It really is crowded, it’s too crowded.”
An investment manager from Denver, Scott MacDonald, told the Times that he’d driven to Sedona earlier in April with his wife and two children to stay in a $8,000-a-month rental home overlooking the town. 
Homes in Sedona seen on April 22, 2020.
Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
MacDonald said he had been concerned by the lack of social distancing in Denver and noisy construction near their downtown loft.
“We love it here,” MacDonald told the Times. “The quiet, the space, the scenery, it’s all just amazing.”
Sedona is far from the only small town where locals are furious with tourists and out-of-towners who have flocked to their communities to ride out the pandemic.
As cities like New York City and San Francisco battle some of the worst outbreaks in the country, urbanites are fleeing for rural areas. Wealthy New Yorkers have been decamping to vacation spots like the Hamptons, the Hudson Valley, and the Catskills. East Coasters have also headed out to their second homes in Nantucket, a tiny Massachusetts with 11,300 full-time residents, angering locals.
And like in Sedona, local residents and politicians have condemned this migration for swelling the population of small communities with limited medical resources. 
In the Jackson Hole valley in Wyoming, a popular ski destination, wealthy people are flying in on their private jets to shelter in secluded second homes in one of the country’s least populated states. Jackson, Wyoming, has only one hospital — and it has only 54 ventilators.
A private jet takes off from Jackson Hole Airport in June 2019.
DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images
Nantucket, meanwhile, is considered a “medical desert.” It has 14 hospital beds, three ventilators, zero intensive care units, and a shortage of doctors, Gary Shaw, the CEO of Nantucket Cottage Hospital, told The Lily.
“They are taking up the very limited respirators that we have,” Nantucket local Karli Stahl told The Lily. “People are thinking, ‘It’s the perfect place to escape.’ Well, it could be a disaster.”
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