A friend told me she is devastated after being spit upon by another Mainer because she was wearing a black “I love Cuomo” mask with a red heart. The perpetrator believed my friend was a visitor from New York City when, in fact, she is a Maine resident from a small town who lives part time in New York City.

I told her she must report this incident because this type of behavior is not only inappropriate but also has potential deadly consequences. She is afraid to do this.

On April 5, I read an article headlined “Fear of outsiders creates tensions in Maine’s tourist spots and summer communities,” whose lead focused on a Central Maine Power employee and Maine resident who was driving a rental car with Massachusetts plates and experienced a similar incident.

Has COVID created bullies? How do we as a society prevent more such incidents, and how do we help each other handle life’s tensions in a pandemic?

I believe educating the public is the best prevention using PSA spots from respected leaders and heroes in our communities. We should blitz the airwaves describing how to safely survive a pandemic, and basic rules and responsibilities of society. We are all responsible to prevent collateral damage and other casualties from COVID-19. I believe education, not fear, is the way.

By the way, the mask my friend was wearing was created by a company that sends all proceeds to support nurses and first responders in New York City.

Mary Abbott


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