I read with interest Phil Grant’s comments titled “Governors made a big mistake” in the April 30 edition. His comments made a great deal of common sense to me.
If I was governor — thankfully for all of us I am not — I probably would have done the same thing initially, that being what the majority of all other governors were doing, shut down their state’s economy with one specific purpose, to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in Maine.
Today many disagree with me, yet I feel that we must get the majority of our businesses back in business sooner than later. Clearly guidelines such as social distancing, wearing of masks and other precautions need to be maintained.
Let’s stand back for a minute and take a look at the current numbers. Based on recent data I have read, as of May 2 we have had 56 deaths due to COVID-19. First, let me say I do not like to see anyone lose their life, whether it be a due to a medical issue, a car accident, a hunting accident or any other type of occurrence. However, as we look at the numbers, the loss of 56 lives represents approximately .000043 percent of our state’s population of 1,300,000. Our state’s economy has basically come to a standstill for less than one-half of 1 percent of the state’s population.
If we break down the 56 deaths a little further, I believe that 27 of the 56 deaths were in nursing homes and other senior citizen facilities. Shortly after we began to understand implications of COVID-19, it was obvious that the most susceptible were the elderly, people with respiratory issues and two or three other criteria. I believe this is where the emphasis should have been placed by our government to hopefully curb the loss of lives, not shutting down a majority of the state’s economy, resulting in the possible loss of thousands of jobs.
I would urge our Governor to better understand what this state’s economy is going to look like going forward if she maintains her status quo and possibly make some adjustments to open our state back up sooner.
My approach would be to work with different businesses, try and understand their issues, and then proceed with a common sense approach. I hope I am wrong, but as it stands today, I believe this state is in for a major economic downturn if we do not open this state back up soon, while still maintaining current safety precautions.