Credit: George Danby / BDN

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Our son died in front of us

My son, 36 years old, was among the homeless staying at the Ramada on Odlin Road in Bangor. Last Sunday, in front of the Rodeway Inn, he was found unconscious and his heart had stopped. The police and the fire department gave him CPR and epinephrine, to jumpstart his heart, rushed him to the hospital, but he never regained consciousness and he ultimately died.

I’m his father, and his daughter and his mother had to watch while he died in front of us when after four days they removed the respirator, because of opioid overdose. This seems to be an epidemic in this state and several others. The news doesn’t say very much about it. Why?

Travis Smith


Not all in this together

My husband and I have run our mom-and-pop motel for the past 14 years. This summer, at no fault of our own, we watch our business collapse and we doubt that we will be able to finish the season, let alone open next year. We’re all in it together, and what is being done is for the greater good.

We get it, perhaps because it is drummed into our heads day in and day out. In reality, these slogans are a way to deter us from the truth. We are not in it together.

Everyone who ever ran a motel or hotel knows that this business is unique. The income in a motel that survives on its summer season is needed to sustain the business over the winter so that the following summer season will be feasible. Forcing a whole sector of Maine hospitality to operate on 10-20 percent income is implementing a death sentence. Saying that we are all in it together is ignoring the facts, covering them with cynicism.

The greater good is considering individual needs as well as those of the community. It demands that we do not look to the side when taxpayer citizens are being crushed.

I do not have suggestions. I elected the Maine Innkeepers Association to represent me. And I believe our honorable governor owes me an answer that will help me survive, since she is the one who pulled the ground from under my feet.

Ariela L. Zucker


Decline in patient care

We agree with Nicholas Fox of Holden. Good medical care has been pushed to the back burners. We are a population that wants to see their caregiver.

They do not even answer the office phones. If you leave a message, you may not get a return call for over 24 hours.

It appears COVID has been a way forward to forget good patient care. It was already on life support and it just got worse.

George and Linda Lougee


Learn from the greatest generation

With the coming of the COVID-19 pandemic the nation is at war, facing an invisible and opportunistic enemy that will kill or maim many of us if we allow it. As I see people out in stores without face masks, I realize we haven’t come to grips with what this war requires of us.

Those who grew up during World War II have been called ” the greatest generation.” They were great because they internalized some important life lessons. First, they understood that we are all much more alike than we are different, in our biological makeup, our basic needs and our vulnerabilities. Second, we are highly interdependent — what I do affects you and what you do affects me, often in vital ways. Third, winning a war requires working together, everyone doing their part.

Even if we are not on the front lines working in an ICU, we must all contribute to the effort. Some short-term personal sacrifices are necessary for our well-being in the long run. By insisting on my right to go barefaced I may feel more free, and the nation may lose the war. In the months ahead, I and those I care about will be more likely to become sick, or destitute, or to die.

The greatest generation knew that freedom isn’t free, that with rights come responsibilities. I think they would advise us all to wear a mask in public — and help make America great again.

Stephen McKay