I’ll stick with experts
A letter that appeared in Saturday’s edition of the BDN threw me into a real tailspin. The world’s leading scientists, epidemiologists, and medical experts have generated predictive models and public health recommendations regarding coronavirus and now a writer from Clifton tells me they’re completely wrong. Now what am I supposed to think? Let me see: world’s experts on the one hand, guy from Clifton on the other. That’s a tough one.
The writer then goes on to give voice to a set of propositions, all dubious from my perspective, growing in strength on one end of the political spectrum. These include the following: a vaccine may never be developed, widespread infection is inevitable, people will die despite medical care, and flattening the curve of hospital admissions simply prolongs societal agony and the inevitable.
The implication is that we should re-open society, allow infections to spread on a grand scale, flood the health care system or simply don’t treat at all, intensify the dying and get it over with (if there ever is a getting it over with).
This is a survival of the fittest view of public health that I’d rather have no part of. Tough decision, I know, but I think I’ll go with the experts.
Protect the environment
Thank you for publishing the excellent opinion piece by Dr. Janis B. Petzel, “Rolling Back Environmental Protections Will Worsen COVID-19 Pandemic,” on April 13. I’ve also been very concerned about the recent actions by Andrew Wheeler, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with regard to rolling back or simply deciding not to enforce important environmental regulations.
As the “ tailpipe of the nation,” Maine also has high levels of mercury pollution in its lakes and waterways in addition to the medical risks from air pollution mentioned by Petzel. The EPA began enforcing limits on mercury in 2012, but because it is so long-lived in the environment, Maine still has warnings on consuming fish from its lakes. According to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection the levels of mercury in fish, eagles and loons are among the highest in North America.
I am calling on Administrator Wheeler to stop reversing or planning not to enforce important environmental protections such as the 2012 mercury regulations, and I hope other Mainers will join me — for the health of Mainers, our environment, and our tourism industry. Mercury will not disappear from our lakes in just a few years. We’ve got a start now. Let’s not lose it!
Leda Beth Gray
Let’s look at the good
In response to the article about the concerns the Maine Department of Health and Human Services has about Calais Regional Hospital’s ability to deal with the coronavirus, I would like to offer the following as the hospital’s pulmonary director:
Having personally assisted in the placing of breathing tubes in patients for over 35 years, this is indeed a skill that emergency physicians must have. But there are also times when the placing of these tubes can be extremely difficult, if not nearly impossible to achieve.
Given the world we live in, critical access hospitals do not always have the finances to staff anesthesia personnel that can assist in the more difficult procedures, as was this case. The staff and physician apparently had the knowledge to seek assistance when needed, the breathing tube was placed and the patient went for treatment in Bangor, where there was a positive outcome for the patient.
My complaint is about how this article was presented, comparing a difficult placing of a breathing tube to an entire hospital’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. This does nothing but create panic and insecurity at a time when the entire world is in turmoil dealing with this health crisis.
Has the writer of this article explored the extensive response to coronavirus that Calais Regional Hospital has undertaken? Can we at least write about all that has been done to promote staff and community education, supply and equipment allocation, staff and visitor testing, and policies to protect everyone from this pandemic that is the worst since the turn of the century?
The answer to this is that the article mentions none of the above and chooses to only mention a difficult procedure that concluded with a positive outcome! Let’s look at the good that has been done and learn from the difficulties.
Pray for America
As a senior citizen and former Army nurse, I know we need the power from above besides our expertise as nurses, doctors and other support staff.
2 Chronicles 7:14 spells it out perfectly: “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
We ask this in the name of Jesus, the name above all names.
Unemployment and fairness
Unemployment claimants that meet eligibility requirements will receive an extra $600 per week as a stimulus, on top of their eligibility amount.
Unemployment is an insurance, for when you get displaced from your job through no fault of your own. My understanding is that it’s based on what you earned over the past five quarters. Sure we all don’t earn the same amount of money, that’s primarily due to the positions we hold.
Do I think it’s fair that someone who is entitled to receive $200 in unemployment will be hauling in more money than I earn? Um, no, I worked hard to get to my position. I have a specialized position that not everyone can do. I’m fortunate that my company is still paying me to sit home.
I’m most generally only “unemployed” four to five weeks out of the year. Of those weeks, I would only be “eligible” one week for said stimulus. Am I going to accept it? You betcha, but am I going to spend it, ah no! I’m going to save it, until I have an unexpected expense I can’t handle.