Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

Please be safe out there

This autumn, I watched a pickup careen down my street so fast the driver missed their turn, plowed through my mother-in-law’s yard and came within two feet of my son’s sandbox. Thank goodness my son was inside the house. Drivers regularly disregard the speed limit on my street, the vast majority flying by without incident. But only one unfortunate encounter would bring disaster to my family.

Traffic laws are a paradox: by restricting our freedom of movement, they facilitate our movement. Commutes take a little longer, but are less likely to be disrupted by a crash. More of us reach our destination, unaware of avoided calamity, and the rest of us are spared the resulting traffic jams. As COVID-19 upends our lives, masks and social distancing, like traffic laws, are tools to keep our economy as functional as possible through this difficult time.

We know how many Mainers die in crashes each year, not how many would have died with no speed limits. We know how many Mainers have died or developed chronic illness from COVID-19, not how many of us in Piscataquis County would have had not all of Maine implemented masks and distancing.

Someday the pandemic will end and our economy will recover. None of us will recover the loss of a family member. Please drive safely. Please wear a mask. Please renounce the Piscataquis County commissioners’ resolution. May all of our loved ones be here to celebrate the recovery when it arrives.

Lizzy Koltai-Price


Moving on

I believe Sen. Susan Collins could have prevented the Jan. 6 insurrection by voting for impeachment last year.

She is yet to announce her stand on the latest impeachment, even though it is based on the former president’s own words and actions in the public record!

Personally, I am not ready to “move on” until all enablers have been held accountable, including congressional leaders.

Robert Winship Johnston


Getting back to normal

With President Joe Biden entering office, a new outlook on the coronavirus enters with him. Nearly a year after the start of this pandemic, we as a country are still stumbling to try to reach the finish line. Things are finally starting to look up with the continuation of the vaccine distribution and the entrance of an administration that takes the pandemic seriously.

As Biden enters office, he plans to ask congress for $1.9 trillion to aid in efforts against the virus. Biden plans to use $415 billion to increase the amount and speed of testing, as well as increase the amount and speed at which the vaccine is being produced. That leaves $1 trillion for small households and another $440 billion for small businesses.

This plan is extremely good for Americans everywhere. There are many people who have been struggling after the first stimulus check wore off — these people are finally going to get the help they need. This package will also do wonders for small businesses especially in areas like downtown Bangor. These businesses who have been having to be closed or have seen huge dips in business will also finally be helped and allowed to reclaim a little of what this virus has taken.

The final part of this package might be the best part of the $415 billion: to increase the speed of vaccine distribution. The faster we can get out of this the faster things can be back to normal.

Elliott Collins