With only 24 hours away from Primary Day, Mainers go to the polls tomorrow with lots of choices to decide about, particularly in the 2nd District. We have 3 choices for the Republican nominee for our 2nd District congressional seat, along with the Senate, and State Representatives. Even though we’ve heard it in past elections, the comment “this is the most important election in our lifetime”, for some reason this time, for me, it really feels like it is. There are so many issues, not only on a federal level but also in our state and county, that require solid leadership to represent us to tackle the hard choices ahead.
I see two areas in Maine that are weighing heavy on people’s minds. Why are we wearing masks in Aroostook County given so few COVID cases, and are the kids getting back to school in the fall or not? Both of these issues are hard to know the answers to, yet it is our responsibility as citizens to study, find the facts and share our concerns and ideas to our elected leaders who who likely be making decisions to impact all us.
I recently met a restaurant owner in Caribou who described the concerns he has about all of this and how his patrons are reacting. His primary comment was “people just want to come in, get a good meal, and socialize”. They don’t seem to be that upset about whether social distancing and masks are being enforced. Yet, we now have our Governor requiring mandatory masks in large facilities and there’s even a form online for someone to report violators not wearing masks. What is our state turning into? There’s no lack of fighting amongst ourselves in the social media platforms over all this too.
I thought best to check our own Aroostook County Pandemic Plan for answers. I suspect our current representatives and the Governor haven’t read it. On page 11, it states: “Masks in Public Places- not known to be effective.” So, there you have it. We have a county wide plan approved by our County Commissioners, and the State’s Emergency Management Agency, yet we don’t seem to be following it.
As parents, you may want to weigh in with your local school boards as they determine what will be required for students to adhere by if the schools open in the fall. If they institute a mask policy, you might want to remind them about the County Pandemic Plan. Somewhere in the planning, we lost track of what the truth is. Sometime soon we better get back to adhering to our constitutions (Federal and State), or else we will lose more freedoms taken for granted.