June 03, 2020
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Friday, April 3, 2020: Please respond to the Census, snowbirds not the problem, supporting nurses

Please respond to the Census

More than 50 million households, representing more than one-third of the nation, already have responded to the 2020 Census. The census happens once every 10 years, and your response affects allocation of congressional seats and federal funds to your community — for things like schools, hospitals, roads, and emergency services.

Please respond to the Census today. It takes less than 10 minutes to fill out the form online at 2020census.gov, over the phone to the number on the form you received or on paper through mail.

As of April 1, only 31 percent of Maine households have responded. We ask for your help in making sure Maine gets a complete and accurate count of all people residing in the state as of Census Day, April 1.

Your data is encrypted from the instant we receive your response, so it is well protected. Your responses are not shared with anyone else, including law enforcement. Census responses are protected by federal law, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Almost all households in Maine have received multiple invitations to respond by phone and by mail. If you have not received a paper questionnaire yet and have not responded, it will be delivered starting April 8. Your state and nation thank you for taking action on behalf of your community by responding to the 2020 Census.

Wilbur L. Ross

Secretary

Department of Commerce

Washington, D.C.

Snowbirds not the problem

Snowbirds are not the problem when it comes to this virus. I believe almost all snowbirds have self-quarantined in their winter residences for over a month now. Mainers are not the only ones self-quarantining.

We are old but diligent when it comes to our health. So as they return to Maine, having to self quarantine is not a problem. The problem is the ignorance of some people.

Susan Lara

Eastport

Biden’s leadership

I can’t wait to vote in November for Joe Biden. As he demonstrated in his debate with Bernie Sanders, Biden knows how to mount an effective crisis response. After listening to scientists, public health experts and first responders, he knows how to coordinate federal, state and local action.That’s exactly what he did when he helped lead our government’s successful response to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic and the 2014 Ebola epidemic. We did not have a crisis here.

After getting classified Intelligence briefings in January and February, President Trump didn’t do enough. As cases increased, he didn’t do enough. He still refuses to coordinate a strong national response and fully utilize the Defense Production Act to increase and coordinate manufacturing for national defense, public health and safety. His lack of action and misinformation have intensified the danger to our health care workers, our first responders and us all.

Since January, instead of effective action to deal with COVID-19, he has been using his power to remove pollution controls on streams, wetlands and automakers, making us less healthy.

Thanks in part to Trump’s inaction and incompetence, we are locked down for what could be months, watching infection rates rise and our economy tank. If only we had Biden’s leadership.

Joyce Schelling

Orland

Supporting nurses

April 7 is World Health Day, and the World Health Organization has chosen the theme “Support Nurses and Midwives” in hopes of boosting the healthcare workforce worldwide. What a timely theme! The fact that nurses are now among the workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic makes the theme of “support nurses” all the more poignant.

The Maine Public Health Association and the American Public Health Association are observing National Public Health Week, from April 6 through 12, with a different public health topic featured each day. On Tuesday, April 7 the topic is “maternal and child health.” Some may consider this topic to be inclusive of public health nurses, who have long been and continue to be champions of maternal and child health. Yet, why not support nurses by making them visible? Why not acknowledge their vital contributions? Why not proclaim their worth?

The previous governor significantly reduced public health nursing in Maine. Now, finally, with new leadership, Maine has a growing public health nursing workforce, not a minute too soon.

In honor of World Health Day and National Public Health Week, my heart and thanks go out to all nurses everywhere. In particular, as we battle the coronavirus pandemic, I am grateful for all my colleagues working in acute care settings, especially in emergency departments and intensive care units, as well as for the public health nurses caring for communities throughout Maine. Supporting nurses is essential for public health.

Martha Eastman

Bangor

 


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