March 26, 2020
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Friday, March 27, 2020: Reliable internet infrastructure, working in mental health right now, no time to play politics

Reliable internet infrastructure

Thank you to the IT experts and funds that together made significant improvements to internet service in Maine. Where 20 years ago we had low capacity through a dial-up modem, we now can access more content than we could ever imagine exists.

My wife and I are both teachers working out ways to keep learning active during the pandemic. It would be impossible without the core infrastructure that covers much of the state. I am able to reach my students and share lessons from home, or the now empty school, with great reliability.

I don’t know who is personally responsible for the three-ring binder concept and other investments. Your foresight is appreciated today by myself and many others.

John Peckenham

Orland

Working in mental health right now

Last week was a difficult and grueling one to be working in mental health. In a matter of hours, we shifted away from face-to-face sessions to telephone only amid this surreal crisis we’ve found ourselves in. There were moments where I felt fully able to meet this moment with skill, grace, and endurance. And other times where I turned away out of fear, or fatigue.

I’ve relied on both my professional training as well as the skills I’ve picked up along the way to suffer less in this life, like yoga, mindfulness, being outside and moving the body, laughing, cultivating gratitude, staying connected to others, and occasionally escaping into films or one of my favorite stories like The Hobbit.

I’ve been through some things in this life, but nothing quite like this. In many ways, it feels like the training wheels are off; not only in a professional sense but in a personal way too. This is it, folks. This is a moment. And yet, there’s still not quite that unifying, galvanizing sense of unity which was so palpable after 9/11. Perhaps it’s because this intruder is silent and less visible. Or, maybe there are still those who can down play its extent or flat out deny it. But I hope it’s possible to really come together again.

And this time, if and when we do, I hope we understand just how connected, just how interdependent, just how reliant we are on one another for so, so much. And then, with this great lesson learned, let that unadorned truth seep its way into all our institutions, all our policies and practices, all our ways of doing and being. Then, we could say, America has finally matured into the promised nation we always knew it could be.

Nicholas Cullen

Swanville

Let’s ring bells together

I received an email from a dear friend in Switzerland telling about the challenges they are facing to maintain their sense of community as they hunker down to defeat COVID-19. What struck me most was that everyone in all communities across the country, pause and ring their bells at 7 p.m. each night to recognize, honor and give thanks to all the brave healthcare workers and first responders who stand on the front lines of this crisis.

Please join me tonight and every night in asking our families and communities to pause for a moment at 7 p.m. to ring a bell together. Please share this with your organizations across the state and beyond. What a poignant reminder this will be of our shared humanity.

Rick Osann

Bar Harbor

Not a time to play politics

Our citizens urgently need government support in providing job assistance and pay choices during this critical COVID-19 virus. Also our American companies must remain stable at all costs. It is not the time for our elected representatives on either side to play politics and demand that any monetary assistance provided by our government should contain funding for wind and solar tax relief, global warming funding, postal service payback, etc.

It is a fact that several Democratic senators voted against advancing the initial monetary stimulus bill. As such, the citizens who truly need help are the ones who continue to suffer. It is very sad that we have reached this political in-fighting status as the funding for these unrelated programs could and should be rescheduled for a later date.

I urge our citizens to read the current Senate proposed monetary funding bill, as its passage trumps any political bias.

Thomas Kelly

Holden

 

 


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