COVID has given us an opportunity to think about what is essential. Grocery stores, gas stations and hospitals are some clear examples of the “essential.”

Observing the ineptitude of our country, once a global leader in democratic politics, in failing to respond to COVID makes me think about how business as usual in general has failed to prioritize the essential.

Nature and community, the two most obvious essential aspects of life on Earth, have increasingly suffered year after year as objectives that not based on the local market are prioritized because of their upward effect on national gross domestic project charts.

Ecologically, we face promised decades of ruin to come if we continue cutting the ground out from under us. Socially, millions without past safety nets for housing, health care and unemployment safeguards will surely suffer, even as the rich get richer and economic indicators suggest “progress” as stock prices increase.

I think it is time to think about true security and sovereignty because COVID has shown how dependence on federal or other non-local authorities like transnational corporations can only lead to disaster.

I hope that my fellow peers in the millennial generation, who number around 80 million, along with Generation Z, numbering around 85 million, will be involved through their lives to reclaim local control of the essential in areas such as food, energy, commerce and health care. For instance, the Maine Power for Maine People initiative to give Mainers control over foreign-owned Central Maine Power would be a great start.

Dan White

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