Use antibiotics responsibly
This year, Antibiotic Awareness Week is Nov. 12-18. Antibiotic resistance happens when germs no longer respond to an antibiotic. Because of antibiotic resistance, many infections are becoming harder to treat and may lead to higher health care costs and longer hospital stays.
Improper antibiotic use is a major cause of antibiotic resistance. It is important to remember that antibiotics only treat bacterial infections and do not work on viruses. Antibiotics also won’t help for some common bacterial infections, including most cases of bronchitis, many sinus infections and some ear infections. When antibiotics aren’t needed, they won’t help you, and the side-effects could actually hurt you.
Antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent threats to public health. The public can prevent the spread of infections by cleaning hands, covering coughs, staying home when sick, practicing safe sex, getting recommended vaccines, and talking with your doctor about when antibiotics are and are not needed. If you are prescribed antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed by your doctor and do not share or use leftover antibiotics.
For more information, please visit cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/community/index.html.
Antibiotic resistance coordinator
Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention
No offshore drilling
As an aspiring research zoologist with a passion for coastal ecosystems, the potential for offshore drilling along the Atlantic Coast is extremely discouraging. I study in Maine and have spent the last few years eagerly working toward protecting and understanding our coastal species, and offshore drilling is a direct threat to that dream. Not only would a potential oil spill completely devastate the plant and animal lives along the coast, but the seismic airgun blasting used to search for oil would harm marine wildlife up to 2,500 miles from the source of the blast.
Maintaining a healthy ecosystem is also critical for the fishing, tourism and recreation industries. If all of the marine wildlife are dying or leaving because the Trump administration is air blasting their home, there will be nothing left for these industries to work with. Sen. Susan Collins should ask the Trump administration to keep the coast of Maine, as well as the rest of the U.S. coastline, off limits to offshore drilling permanently.
I want to live in a world where I can educate people about the importance of protecting beautiful ecosystems that exist on our planet, not about restoring the damaged remains of ecosystems that existed in the past.
Voter suppression un-American
In this era of purported fake news and over-hyped threats from other countries, here is my nomination for the most heinous and un-American of all activities: voter suppression.
When our own elected leaders act with the clear intention of preventing fellow Americans from voting (think Georgia and North Dakota as only two of many current examples), these elected representatives of our democracy are, in truth, anti-American, anti-democratic activists hiding behind thinly veiled racist and partisan schemes.
Shame on them.
Stop the division
I was captivated by Michael Cianchette’s Oct. 12 column about his fear that extreme political unrest will eventually get someone killed. Cianchette elaborated on key events in recent times that have churned the melting pot that is “in danger of boiling over.”
What’s going on is scary, odd, but also quite intriguing. What we are seeing: political parties getting divided to a point that, arguably, we have not seen before. We are falling into the “tribalism trap” and are seeing the other side as the enemy.
A couple of solutions exist. We can let this division further separate us from our fellow man, continuing to hate people with opposing viewpoints and being ignorant to the other side. Politicians will continue to spew divisive rhetoric while claiming innocence. Neither side is innocent. The tension will continue to build and result in a bloody civil war.
Or, we could knock it off. We could finally relax and engage in actually getting informed, thinking critically, and listening to the other side. We could allow ourselves to come together in unity and not continue down this dangerous path. More importantly, we could learn to accept our differences and stop hating one another.
I’ll take the latter.
Trump’s attack on transgender Americans
The Trump administration’s rumination over the idea of defining gender based on physical anatomy is not only an attempt to erase the identity of about 0.6 percent of people in the U.S., it is also an attack on bodily autonomy. Quinn Gormley of the Maine Transgender Network covers this issue in a recent OpEd, and how it affects transgender people all over the state. She begs the question: Does the government have any business in our bodies?
We can’t allow this policy to be adopted. No one wants to be told what they can and can’t do with their own bodies, or how they can define themselves. Everyone wants to be able to express themselves freely. The community needs to pull together to stand up for what’s right, and to help create a reality where no one is afraid to be themselves.
Children need safe environment
I was upset about the recent article about a Jonesport man who was accused of having sexual contact with a child. It is heartbreaking to hear that there are still children who have to suffer this pain in this great time of the 21st century.
Teachers and parents have to take this seriously. According to a new five-year study led by bullying and youth violence expert Dorothy L. Espelage, 43 percent of the 1,300 middle school students being surveyed had been the victims of sexual harassment. This was the result of teachers and parents failing to acknowledge the seriousness of sexual harassment at school.
In order to give our children a safe environment to grow up, prevention efforts such as imposed policy and sex education against this behavior need to be put as a priority in our school curriculums. Hopefully, crimes like this one will not happen again to our children in the future.