Re: “Maine CDC director Shah leaving state for high-level federal position” (Jan. 13, Page A1):

Friday’s front-page lead story starts, “Dr. Nirav Shah, who gained near-celebrity status …, ” and I thought, now that’s a bit much. Celebrity – status?

I then went to the fridge to fetch some butter, noting that our Dr. Shah chocolate bar remained pristine and untouched. The whole family knows the rule: No one eats the Shah bar.

I proceeded next to fetch my favorite coffee cup, a basic white ceramic mug with Dr. Shah’s masked face on the side with a classic I (Heart) Dr. Shah text underneath. I filled the cup and then informed my wife of the sad news, making sure she had time to read the whole article before carefully clipping the front-page headline and photo for the scrapbook.

On a more serious note, Dr. Shah was our guiding light these past few years. He was calm, professional, sober, and informed; he relayed the dire seriousness of what this disease was doing to our community and loved ones without dabbling in hysterics, conspiracy, or both-side rims. He was the closest thing to a hero I’ve witnessed in my adult life, and I can’t thank him enough for his dedication and equanimity.

Best of luck to Dr. Shah. His appointment is a loss for Maine but a gain for the country.

Nathaniel Krenkel

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