Disappointed in CDC’s lack of guidance

I don’t know anyone who isn’t eager to see our states open back up for business and recreation post Covid-19, thus beginning to stabilize the job and revenue losses they have all sustained. People too have had enough of being inside, often juggling too many tasks such as childcare and working from home, with no short-term end in sight. We are all still worried, though, about how to do this without the risk of a spike in serious illness. Given all of this, I was really disappointed to see that the expert guidance offered in the recent report by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as to how to safely reopen states, with specifics (apparently) tailored to different locales such as urban vs. rural areas, has not been allowed to be released.

Even more to the point, I have been astonished and angered that there has not been a public outcry because this report has not been publicly released. This is just the information we need, as state officials, as business owners, and, in my own case, as a citizen who would like to know how safe various activities I might undertake actually would be. We should at least be able to see the report, and weigh the information for ourselves.

I have been quite impressed with the calm and straightforward manner in which Dr. Shah of the Maine CDC has engaged with the public; we need more of that candor at national as well as state levels of government. All of us need as much information as we can possibly get, in order to make good decisions wherever those are possible. Our goal should be to safely reopen Maine to the greatest extent possible, as quickly as we can do that. I would assume that the information provided by the US CDC report would help us to do so.

Karen Wilcock,

Hugs: A personal history

I am a “Maine girl”. I was born and raised in Auburn and summered either on a boat around Bailey Island or in New Gloucester at The Outlet. I consider myself very lucky to have that good, strong Maine stock running through my blood.  

My oldest sister, who is 84 years old, lives in a nursing home in Massachusetts. She has tested positive for the COVID virus. A life long smoker, I feared the worst. Nope. Charlene’s ‘good Maine stock’ came to the rescue and even though she is surrounded by some very sick senior citizens, she has no symptoms.

I grew up in a loving family but not a ‘huggy-kissy’ one. If you grew up in Maine, you know what I mean. Hugging was mostly for small children and events like marriages and funerals. We showed love in other ways like helping someone or sending a thank you card. We left the hugging to people who grew up in California.  

At 25 years old, I moved to Alaska and stayed for 17 years. Most of the residents in Alaska are from “the lower forty eight.” They are transplants from many different states and many of them were huggers. Perhaps that was because it was cold most of the time. I was a novice at hugging but with four children, hugging became second nature.  

After moving to New Jersey (some hugging), then to North Dakota (very little hugging), I moved to Massachusetts (more hugging than either New Jersey or North Dakota). After 17 years in Massachusetts, I retired to Maine at the same time my first grandchild was born in California. Let the joys of hugging grandchildren begin!  

I now have six well-hugged grandchildren. Lately, they have not had hugs from Grammy and I think I need a diagnosis with a name for the malady of ‘lack of hugging.’ It needs an -osis at the end of the word. It would be much easier to name this empty-of-hugging feeling when I am asked ‘How are you doing?’ The answer should be “Not well, I have a bad case of ‘huglessosis’”.  

Claudia Frost,

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