By: Ronda Snyder
This article contains political and other commentary which reflects the author’s opinions
Governor Janet T. Mills of Maine has levied some of the harshest COVID restrictions in the country on the citizens of Maine. People with disabilities who are unable to wear a mask have been turned into 3rd class citizens by Governor Mills and they are no longer allowed to participate in society. These adults (and many children with developmental disabilities) cannot enter any business or public place in Maine. The unintended consequences of Janet Mills’ severe restrictions are many. People who have worked their entire lives to achieve the “American Dream” to own their own businesses have lost everything they’ve worked so hard to attain. Bankruptcies, overdoses, alcohol abuse, mental health crises, isolation, avoidance of critical health care, food insecurity, domestic abuse, child abuse, depression (in both adults AND children) and unemployment rates have all skyrocketed under Mills’ draconian measures.
In an article in The Hill entitled “Is Flattening the Curve Bad for your Health?” (Click here for full article) from March of this year (when 2 million COVID deaths were projected by the “experts”), the authors wrote (for the sake of transparency, one of the authors is related to me and we’ve discussed this issue often):
“Why are government officials taking draconian steps to flatten the curve without taking into account the devastation that will follow? Our survival instincts play a role: when faced with death, humans aspire to do whatever it takes. No elected official wants to oversee chaos at local hospitals or be judged (emphasis mine) as doing too little. In this context, the most aggressive politicians are rewarded and others follow.”
The problem with aggressive politicians like Janet Mills (and Jeanne Lambrew of DHHS) is that they never look down the line or outside of the box to see the unintended consequences of their edicts as described in the above article. Instead they govern from a place of immediate fear. Fear of people dying from COVID on their “watch.” Dying from (or with) COVID is Mills’ narrow-minded tunnel vision and something upon which she is hyper focused. It appears as though Mills only cares about COVID deaths and not the other deaths associated with her mandates. If Mills did care about the other deaths, her mandates and restrictions on the citizens of Maine wouldn’t be so harsh. The deaths from suicides, deaths from overdoses, deaths from people being turned away from receiving critical health care because they can’t wear a mask, deaths because Mills and her CDC director, Dr. Nirav Shah have instilled so much fear in society that people are afraid to get critical healthcare, and deaths in other areas are skyrocketing. The unintended deaths and economic ruin are because Mills seems to believe she can control a virus with masks and she is willing to allow these unintended consequences to run rampant for the sake of her own political instincts.
Mills’ overly severe Executive Orders placed on Maine citizens are based on the data of deaths in Maine from COVID (or with COVID) though the exact number of deaths classified as ”from” COVID and “with” COVID is somewhat muddy. If someone dies of a heart attack and is later tested as having a positive COVID test can one reasonably presume that COVID was, in fact, the cause of death? This is a discussion for another time and article. As of this writing, Maine has 274 deaths classified as COVID deaths (FROM or WITH COVID) and the breakdown for age group is as follows:
Age <20: 0 deaths
Age 20’s: 1 death
Age 30’s: 1 death
Age 40’s: 4 deaths
Age 50’s: 10 deaths
Age 60’s: 23 deaths
Age 70’s: 80 deaths
Age 80’s: 155 deaths
Before any of the negative Nancies out there jump all over this, let me be clear. I think ALL deaths are tragic. It doesn’t, however, take a rocket scientist to figure out what population needs protection from COVID. It’s clear that there is an issue in elderly population including nursing homes and long-term care facilities as this is where the majority of the deaths have occurred. Janet Mills, Dr. Shah and Jeanne Lambrew have failed this population. In an attempt to mitigate their failures, they have instituted draconian measures on the rest of Maine citizens which have resulted in those pesky unintended consequences mentioned above.
I honestly don’t know whether balancing and rectifying the unintended consequences of Mills’ Executive Orders together with common sense health and safety measures (based on who is truly at risk of dying from COVID) is too difficult for Mills and those in her administration to figure out or whether it’s simply easier for her to destroy thousands and thousands of other lives and livelihoods in Maine by governing through the immediate fear of COVID deaths instead of finding a solution in which she does the least amount of damage to ALL of Maine’s citizens.