At this time last year Mainers were in the middle of a 15-day lockdown that Gov. Janet Mills had ordered to flatten the coronavirus infection curve in hopes of preventing hospitals from being overwhelmed.

John Balentine, a former managing editor for the Lakes Region Weekly, lives in Windham.

It’s more than ridiculous, and somewhat Orwellian, that in March 2021 we are still in an emergency state.

A recently filed lawsuit seeking a federal judge’s removal of Maine’s state of civil emergency provides some hope that the never-ending lockdown imposed by Mills and her willing Democrat accomplices in the Legislature, albeit slightly eased compared with a year ago, will mercifully come to a quick end.

There have been many tragedies in the era of coronavirus, but none of them as devastating as the crushing of individual freedoms and the trampling by Mills on the legislative and democratic processes we used to hold so dear and gave our blood and treasure to preserve and protect.

Looking back, it only took the threat of a rogue respiratory droplet and “overabundance of caution” by our fear-mongering governor, health officials and abetting Legislature to lead to the devastation of our patterns of life, ruination of free enterprise and proliferation of irrational fear.

They allowed the cure to be worse than the disease and their overreaction has led to many disastrous results including lousy education for Zoom-bie schoolchildren, missed health diagnoses, suicides, antisocial behavior, social isolation, increased drug and alcohol abuse, general lethargy, the devastation of small businesses and so many other negative outcomes.


While Democrat-led states such as Maine cowered in fear, other states – so-called red states led by competent, brave Republican governors – stayed open and prevented their constituents from spiraling downhill in lockdown madness and foolishness.

Fortunately, there’s some hope on the horizon here in Maine, in the form of the federal lawsuit against Mills by Maine Republicans and other plaintiffs seeking the lifting of Mills’ state of emergency.

The effort is being led by Republican Rep. Heidi Sampson of Alfred, a brave, competent, well-spoken individual whose leadership and concern for the average Mainer puts to shame her fellow legislators’ lack of action. The lawsuit, in part, asks the court to determine whether there is just cause for the governor’s continuing issuance of a state of civil emergency and, if not, demand the court lift the state of emergency.

If it is lifted, Sampson says, Maine can get back to a normal state of governing with the people’s elected representatives, not the executive branch, in charge of crafting laws.

To her credit, Mills wasn’t all wrong, especially in the beginning of this unprecedented fight. Indeed, there was a need for a state of emergency a year ago. COVID-19 was a new disease and we didn’t know what we were dealing with. But that was then and this is now. Cases are down 80% since January; deaths are way down; vaccines are protecting the elderly; therapeutics are available; kids are relatively safe; hospitals are no longer overwhelmed and people are aware of the importance of face masks for those not yet inoculated.

This virus, they say, will be with us for many years, much as the seasonal flu, so we need to face facts and get back to normal life. That starts with the lifting of emergency executive powers, the full reopening of all businesses and the reinstatement of our republican form of government. I hope the judge in Sampson’s case agrees and intercedes on behalf of average Mainers struggling under Mills’ dictatorial executive orders.

Comments are not available on this story.