People, people, people. There’s a reason why Mark Twain called us “the damned human race.”

It should (but apparently doesn’t) go without saying that when you hold a mass rally to protest shelter-in-place rules, you just spread the disease and prolong shelter-in-place for all of us.

So let’s take a step back, count our blessings, and stop feeling sorry for ourselves. One reason Maine isn’t a hot spot is because our state government has taken the epidemic seriously.

It’s easy to say, “We don’t need all these rules. We just need to behave sensibly.”

But imagine having no laws against running red lights, speeding, passing on curves, and drunk driving. No tickets, no suspensions, no OUIs. What if we were just encouraged to drive sensibly? A lot of us would. But a lot of us wouldn’t.

Likewise, without orders to stay home or keep businesses closed, a lot of us wouldn’t.

So the governor, heeding the advice of public health advisers who know something about epidemics, imposed tough rules in a timely fashion. She and other governors are also working with health advisers to come up with exit strategies to ease states back to normalcy. But it won’t happen overnight. Sorry. It just won’t.

Meanwhile, we don’t have to like all the rules. We just have to follow them.

That’s hard in an age of instant gratification. But viruses don’t care about gratifying humans. And this virus is no flu. It’s a trickster. A lot of people with no symptoms are carriers. (Maybe you even bumped into one at a rally.) The only way to beat it is to wait it out.

So let’s be patient. Let’s be smart. Let’s follow doctor’s orders. Let’s work together.


Charlie Bernstein


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