Take coronavirus seriously

In 2015, I was hospitalized in Italy for a week. The care was excellent and in Italy, and in my experience, everyone can get the care they need under the national health system.

Italy is the epicenter in Europe of the COVID-19 epidemic. They are doing everything possible to strangle the spread of the virus, including closure of everything except essential services. You are not allowed to go next door to visit your neighbor. You cannot travel by car or train without a very good reason. In spite of the difficulties, my Italian friends say everyone is cooperating. Everyone is pulling together, as Americans will also do.

Early on, China made mistakes and Italy made mistakes, just as we are doing. We do not have enough test kits. Testing is important to pinpoint where the cases are and where efforts need to be concentrated. As of March 18, according to Italian department of civil protection, there were 35,713 people positive for coronavirus and 2,978 deaths. That’s a death rate of more than 8 percent. Even if we say that there may be another 20,000 people with the virus in Italy who haven’t been tested and counted, that’s still a death rate of more than 5 percent. Death rate from the flu is 0.1 percent.

So, if you haven’t been taking this seriously, time to do so. Go to the CDC website to educate yourself and get your questions answered. Regarding my personal safety, I’m more worried about what you’re doing than what the virus is doing. So please, wash your hands and stay home if you can.

David P. Frasz, MD

Dover Foxcroft

Courtesy from the banks

Does anyone remember when we were on the verge of a major depression in 2008? That situation was saved by our bailing out the banks and other financial institutions.

There are thousands, if not millions, of people who are going to be in financial bind due to the coronavirus pandemic. They won’t be able to make payments to the banks for mortgages, car loans, and other financial obligations.

Wouldn’t it be a service to the people who saved the banks 11 years ago for the banks to extend a small courtesy back, by not demanding payment until everyone is able to return to a normal life?

Thomas Bonner


Put wilderness over financial incentives

On February 21, the BDN reported that the chief development officer of Iberdrola, the majority owner of Avangrid, which is Central Maine Power’s parent company, admits there have been problems with billing and management, adding, “Let’s forget about what happened. We just need to move on… We are very happy with CMP.”

This is stunning. Wisdom says that the past is the best predictor of the future, and none of us is going to do that much forgetting until CMP changes its way of doing business.

When it comes to the corridor, I personally don’t need a study of the financial impact to know that I’m against it. I believe CMP has baited Maine with a financial incentive to allow a swath of wilderness to be destroyed.

Remember that in 1492, the United States was wilderness. Anglo culture wiped out most of the Native American culture, and we are in the process of wiping out the wilderness as well. Mainers — tree fellers, tree huggers, hunters and animal lovers – love the outdoors. What we all have in common is the wilderness. Don’t let the financial incentive let you forget what we lose if we bite the bait.

Mary Offutt

Deer Isle

Ending cervical cancer deaths

Where you live should not determine if you live.

We have an exciting opportunity in front of us. For the first time, we have the knowledge and tools we need to end death from cervical cancer worldwide. I am urging Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to help do just that.

I shared my cancer story with my members of Congress recently and urged them to prioritize funding to increase access to cervical cancer prevention – the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine – and simple, cost-effective screening and treatment in low-and middle-income countries.

In the last 30 years, the cervical cancer death rate in the U.S. has dropped by more than 50 percent due in large part to effective screening and treatment options. But in low- and middle-income countries, where access to prevention, screening and treatment is limited, this disease is still a death sentence. Unless we act now, needless deaths from cervical cancer are estimated to rise by 47 percent by 2040.

I’ve faced cancer, and I don’t want anyone else to go through what I did.

Where you live shouldn’t determine if you live, but when it comes to cervical cancer, it does. We can change this.

We can end death from cervical cancer. And with more than 750 women dying from cervical cancer every day in low-and middle-income countries, we can’t wait any longer to take action.

Jeff Bennett


American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network