As of 11 a.m. Friday, March 20, 44 Maine residents have been confirmed positive and 12 others are presumed positive for the coronavirus, according to the state. Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support this mission by purchasing a digital subscription.
I have had enough. COVID-19 is real. It is dangerous, and our federal, state, and local governments are not overreacting (or overreaching). Folks, we are well past the denial stage. And, just because we do not have any confirmed cases here in Washington County — yet — doesn’t mean we should ignore the situation or deny the seriousness of it.
We may be isolated, but it is knocking on our door, and we’d best admit the fact that it will be here before we know it if it isn’t already. Not fear, reality. And don’t bother to post charts comparing it to the flu or other diseases. That kind of misses the point — we are dealing with something we’ve not seen before, and we’d best deal with it, not deny it. If that hits too close to home, too bad.
Some are throwing a hissy fit about Gov. Janet Mills shutting down dine-in restaurants and bars.
I have had enough of that, too. I may not share many of her political beliefs, but Mills cares for Maine and is doing what she has to to keep people safe. If that costs me a few votes, it costs me, but you know, sometimes you just have to speak up for what’s right, even when it isn’t convenient. Mills and her people are doing the best they can. Just as President Donald Trump and his are.
Some of you are old enough to remember World War II. If you are not, and you are not “into history,” here’s something to think about. Gas and food were rationed. The media was censored. There were blackouts. Men were drafted and sent overseas, no doubt some against their will. Sporting events were canceled. Entire races of people were put in internment camps.
Yet restaurants and bars are closed for this and people lose their minds. Really? Seriously?
Our economy is going to be devastated by this, more and more each day. It will take time and hard work to recover, not a long debate on whether we are dealing with a “manufactured crisis” or a “hoax,” as some are calling this. My predecessor, former Rep. David Burns, rightly said a few days ago that all this denial is like people who refuse to believe Elvis is dead. And he’s right.
At church on Sunday, probably our last service for a while, we were charged with leading by example, helping out those in need, and showing people the way to deal with a crisis such as this. That message did not include spreading mass hysteria, misinformation, sparking civil unrest.
Whether you go to church or not, I hope and pray, for the future of our state and country, that you decide to be a part of the solution. It doesn’t take a lot of money, a title, or anything more than a simple attitude adjustment and a little bit of common sense.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and hold your head high!
Will Tuell of East Machias represents District 139 in the Maine House of Representatives.