Better COVID-19 policies are needed. Why? Existing policies harm more people than does COVID-19. Victims include school-age children and working-age people.
Inflicting such harm on Maine’s 200,000-plus students is inexcusable. Young people cope very well with COVID 19’s physical effects.
Given the above, Maine’s schools should:
• Directly protect staff and students verifiably vulnerable to hospitalization or death if infected with COVID-19.
• Resume full-time in-class instruction.
• Continue in-class instruction despite positive PCR test results for students and staff. Why? 80-plus percent of positive tests are overly sensitive, and provision number 1 protects the most vulnerable.
Amongst working-age people, factors other than COVID-19 caused 12-plus percent more excess deaths than did the disease.
Bad policy dominates the other factors. Lockdowns and other measures that caused layoffs and reduced earned income increased deaths linked to emotional distress. Official, and unofficial, exaggeration of COVID-19’s public health threat further increased deaths. Delayed treatments of heart disease, severe respiratory problems and other routine life-threatening conditions also added to the death toll. Tragically, false positive PCR tests needlessly delayed many treatments.
Provisions directly protecting vulnerable members of the workforce should replace measures adversely affecting unemployment and earned income. The provisions should include options to work remotely or to leave the workforce with the equivalent of unemployment compensation.
The improvements suggested above are based on experience with COVID-19, science and genuine concern for public welfare. One more improvement is added here: Revoke or reform emergency powers acts. All Mainers should respectfully demand better policies now, and public pressure should continue until improvements are made. Heat from the public helps officials see the light. Democrat and Republican officials need to see the light because both are at fault for bad policies harming more people than does COVID-19.