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Pandemic’s mental health toll

Since March, the novel coronavirus pandemic has lingered over all of our lives. Businesses and communities have shut down, new restrictions have been put in place, and government officials have both encouraged and discouraged social distancing. Each and every person’s life has been affected by this pandemic, whether it be directly or indirectly.

However, the novel coronavirus pandemic has also affected many people in ways that are not visible to others — myself included. For the most part, I am referring to mental health. Ever since the lockdowns started, many individuals’ mental health has gone down the drain. Rates of depression and anxiety are on the rise, and it’s really difficult for most people to deal with everything that’s going on in the world right now.

This is especially true for me, and I can personally attest to it. I personally am diagnosed with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and OCD. Since the pandemic started in March of 2020, all four of these have gotten worse for me. Remote learning makes it harder for me to focus in school — even when I’m on my meds. It’s hard for me to keep track of what assignments need to be done and when, and I easily get distracted by things in the house. As for my anxiety, and more specifically, my OCD, I always worry that I have the virus — even if I have no symptoms and test negative. And since I have more time alone, that means I have more time to worry about trivial things, like past mistakes and what others think of me. And as for my depression, I can’t really say why the pandemic has made it so much worse, but it certainly has.

Of course, in a way, this mental health crisis is a political issue. It seems like nothing is being done about it, and this must change.

Evangelia Suleiman


What are our priorities?

The headline in the Oct. 19 BDN, “Ad dollars in US Senate race overwhelming” should read “appalling” when contrasted to the Bangor homeless article beside it. There are so many needs in our state that could be supported by some of the mega-millions raised and spent on the Collins/Gideon campaign and other campaigns.

Where are our priorities in improving the human quality of life?

Peter Duston


Milne for Senate District 11

There can only be one choice for the Senate seat in District 11. Duncan Milne is the one. Milne is not a veteran of partisan party politics but a veteran of service to our country.

His long experience in the service has exposed him to the tremendous diversity of the people in the military and his successful career has shown him to be able to work extremely effectively in this diverse environment. He accepted the tough challenges of leadership in the service that required him to solve the many problems concerning personnel, budgets, negotiation with opposing views, understanding different cultures and accepting responsibilities even under trying circumstances. He understands that without a strong economy supported by policies that enable businesses and employees to flourish our country, state and localities will shrivel and so will our military.

He is now willing to put his service experience to work in his home state. He is exactly the person we need in the present hyper-partisan political climate.

His opponent is a long-time, highly-partisan Democrat who, it seems to me, is pushing an agenda that is driven by the Democratic National Committee and is not the agenda we need to keep Maine economically strong and flourishing.

Vote for Duncan Milne on Nov. 3.

Peter Petersen


Getting rid of dark money

We’ll all be greatly relieved when this election season ends and we no longer have to put up with the annoying and often inaccurate ads financed through “dark money.” They are a result of the Citizens United decision in 2010, when the U.S. Supreme Court declared that corporations were afforded “free speech,” opening the floodgates for manipulation of our electoral system by wealthy interests.

Susan Collins has decried ads that put her in a bad light, but she cast a key and deciding vote in the Senate to kill the 2010 DISCLOSE legislation. The DISCLOSE Act would have brought transparency to political ads, like the ones she now criticizes.

We will only be able to bring transparency to “dark money” corruption if we vote Collins out of office next month, and I am counting on Sara Gideon to lend her voice and vote to eliminate “dark money” ads from our electoral campaigns.

Peter Millard


What I want from a senator

I want a U.S. senator who protects me. Why should the greatest tax breaks benefit the wealthiest? What about struggling middle-class workers? Who will protect pre-existing conditions when the Affordable Care Act is potentially heading for the chopping block? Who will truly be a moderate voice in the U.S. Senate?

Social Security is not an entitlement — we pay into it. I want a senator who will fight to protect it for me and those who will follow. Shall I support a senator whose president accepts the strategy of herd immunity? That strategy could require a U.S. death count in the millions to be effective.

No. My vote goes to Sara Gideon. I hope my choice of senator will become other people’s choice and then she will be “Our Senator.”

Linda Kristan


Cruelty of Washington politics

We have three fiddlers in Washington: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump. They are holding a new stimulus bill for ransom.

Meanwhile, millions of Americans with low incomes fall behind. The primary fiddler is Pelosi. She has refused to act on behalf of the citizens because the amount offered by the administration is not perfect. I think she is holding it hostage. This is the cruelty of Washington politics today. It is shameful to the extreme.

Hal Wheeler


Election notice

The BDN will stop accepting letters and OpEds related to the Nov. 3 election on Oct. 21. Not all submissions can be published.