My Uber driver, Justin, had a stuffed animal, a sloth, wrapped around the gear stick of his car.

“Someone gave it to me as a gift, and I didn’t know what to do with it, so I put it there. People comment on it all the time,” the young man informed me.

For him, life carried on amid the craziness.

“I just try not to let this all go to my head,” he said as he drove me home from Portland’s airport.

Justin decided to pick up riders at PWM when few other drivers were willing to do so in this time of uncertainty. “It’s their choice,” he said, “but it’s been good business for me.”

Just like Justin, millions of Americans make risk assessments every day when they order food, open a car door or catch a flight.

For now, such personal choice is on pause as the state of Maine has banned more than 10 people from gathering for virtually any reason. As far as we know, that executive order will last until March 31.

But putting American life on hold is no small deal. After March 31, potential future bans should go to a vote in the Legislature.

We are craving normalcy. Let’s see how this current strategy plays out and then hold a vote on the choice few want to consider – striking the balance between preserving life and preserving life as we know it.

James Rudolph


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