As we live with extraordinary measures to isolate and forestall COVID-19 we need to anticipate what the future will bring and be ready for it. I suggest the following priorities when this version of the pandemic winds down:

• Blood testing of the entire state to determine the likely vulnerability to a next iteration — let’s call it COVID 2.0. The time to do this may be if there is a lull after COVID 1.0 before 2.0 comes.

• What permanent public health program needs to be established? What parts of this are federal and which are state responsibilities? Given the unwillingness of the current federal administration to be proactive, what levels of emergency items does Maine need to stock (PPE, ventilators, medical-facilities-in-a-box) and can we encourage Maine companies to have these capabilities?

• Encourage, through favorable tuition funding, more Mainers to go into all of the medical professions. Perhaps provide a 100% tuition forgiveness for those who remain employed in the state for a specified number of years.

• Be ready for the November election to be entirely absentee/mail in. We cannot be Wisconsin.

• How do we raise the state revenues required to both make current budget and pay for the new post-COVID 1.0 measures (more robust public health)? It is time to add I-295 to the toll road system, to raise the gasoline/diesel tax and to have a comparable fee on electric cars in order to underwrite transportation and free up bonds and the general fund from transportation costs.

Joseph Glass, Sumner


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