Helping other countries is in our interest

I am writing on behalf of all Maine residents, urging Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Angus King to cosponsor the Global Health Security Act of 2020. The purpose of this piece of legislation is to sanction a strategic approach for United States foreign assistance to developing and impoverished countries to strengthen global health security.

People may wonder why we are worrying about other nations, when COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on our own country. Roughly 40 million Americans are now unemployed since shutdowns have begun, and the coronavirus has killed 100,000 people in the U.S. However, this is even more of a reason to help other nations rather than focus on ourselves. If the virus continues to spread around the world, then the U.S. can never hope to fully eradicate it in our own nation.

Furthermore, it is in our best interest to help other nations’ economies flourish, as it creates potential trading allies and places for us to export American goods. In order to save thousands of lives abroad, as well as create new economic opportunities for fellow Americans, it is imperative that the Maine senators back this crucial bill.

Sophie Van Leeuwen


Advice from the doctor

Years ago when I was a young’un, good old Dr. Caron would make house calls and fix whatever ailed me or my sisters and brothers. Dr. Caron never became a multi millionaire, but he helped me survive hay fever, severe asthma and other little childhood ailments. Years later, Mom and Dad would not allow us to go swimming in August due to the threat of polio. Along came Dr. Jonas Salk and his vaccine, and that problem was pretty much solved.

Years again passed, and I needed a quadruple heart bypass surgery with a pacemaker included, and once again, a brilliant doctor by the name of Westbrook saved my ordinary life, and I was allowed to go on.

Now, in my old age, I see the common cold still a mystery to the profession. Cancer? A task beyond any near term universal cure from any perspective available. The same applies to Parkinson’s and several other banes of humankind today.

Now comes this coronavirus and big deal medical geniuses like Dr. Anthony Fauci. Their absolutely genius advice to us average Joes? First: Don’t wear a mask. Next: Yeah, wear a mask, let’s make that mandated. Next: Stay indoors, stay at home, do not go outside unless absolutely necessary. Next: Oh sorry, actually outside is better than staying inside. You gotta be kidding me! If Fauci earns more than $40,000 a year, he is ripping us off!

My prediction? You cannot be sure that Mars will not collide with Earth tonight! If it does not do so, wear your little masks, stay six feet apart and stay home until further notice from Fauci and Gov. Janet Mills!

Lou Ouellette


Thanking Collins for PPP

I own the Crocker House Country Inn on Hancock Point. The COVID-19 pandemic and the induced lockdown has had a significant negative impact on our rural restaurant and inn. By May 1, I had witnessed close to $100,000 worth of cancellations for our rooms and for the functions that would have accompanied them. Frankly, I despaired that the 40 years I had spent building this business was all for naught. I questioned our ability to survive.

Our sales through Memorial Day are down by 74 percent. Thankfully we have a Paycheck Protection loan, which will keep us afloat into July- — at which point I am hopeful for a rebound in the economy and consumer confidence. We have maintained our critical staffing levels and we look forward to a busier summer.

I want to thank those customers who have continued to support us in these trying times. Your patronage and generosity to our staff is noted and greatly appreciated. But I especially want to thank Sen. Susan Collins for the role she has played in creating the Paycheck Protection Program without which our survival would very much be in doubt.

Richard Malaby


No mask, no service

Having seen the reports and walked the streets in Camden, talked with shop owners, and been in several big box stores, it looks like Memorial Day was a test of the 14-day quarantine. It failed.

I observed plenty of weekenders out there. In my opinion, the only enforceable rule is the mask rule. If all the businesses (and other places open to the public) didn’t admit the maskless, much of the problem would go away.

The enforcement route is to persuade all operators. There is the carrot: signage provided by the state as part of their certification program. Nice signs: Protect our employees and your fellows, mask. Harsher ones: No shirt, no shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service.

So how does this happen? Some will say that this is interfering with their personal freedoms.

Wearing shirts and shoes does so as well.

What can a citizen do? I can start going to stores that do not have a no mask, no service policy and politely asking to speak to management. I can and will do my best to contact the press. But it is clear to me that the 14-day quarantine will not work to protect Mainers and is standing in the way of welcoming our guests, whether summer home owners or weekenders.

There will likely be natural drop off in visitors without it, just because people don’t want to travel, get on an airplane, or can’t afford it. If we develop the masking culture that the Japanese have and which has been successful, we should be able to keep things under control.

Ben Fuller


With all due respect

What’s this? A letter to the editor from Paul LePage with advice regarding his “plan for reopening” in the BDN on May 21? With all due respect (which isn’t much), I must admit I didn’t bother to read it.

Many of us are still surprised that he evidently didn’t hear the collective groan a couple weeks ago when he announced his intention to run again for governor, and very disappointed he didn’t remain in Florida.

Rodney L. Hanscom