In these unprecedented times I actually look forward to the daily updates from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention director, Dr. Nirav Shah.

Why would anyone look forward to these oftentimes grim updates? To me the answer is simple: Dr. Shah is not telling me what I want to hear. He is telling me what I need to hear. He is giving me factual information on COVID-19 here in Maine.

Dr. Shah impresses me more and more each day with his presentation of updated information. Once he opens it up for questions he genuinely seems pleased to get tough questions and almost always responds with “good,” “great question,” “I’m glad you asked that” or some similar positive response.

Dr. Shah then goes on to fully answer the question. It is so refreshing to experience the positive give and take that goes on between Dr. Shah and the various questioners. I don’t necessarily feel better after these updates, but I do feel informed.

In addition, Dr. Shah credits those on the CDC team and those medical personnel “on the front lines” regularly. It clearly is not about him (again, refreshing). On the contrary it is about getting updated information out to the public in a thoughtful, understandable, clear scientific manner. Simply put he gives us “Just the facts, ma’am.”

Thank you, Dr. Shah, the Maine CDC team and all of the medical personnel for caring about and for the people of Maine.

Don Barton

Portland

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