The U.S. Constitution grants public health powers to the states, yet the states have no adequate precedence to navigate COVID-19. Officials, under pressure to prevent community transmission, are at odds with a skeptical population that is  concerned that these compulsory powers are not the least restrictive means and issued without clean, convincing evidence.

Maine’s representation failed expedition of tests/screening per precautionary principles and their decision-making responsibilities led to forced coercion. Those fallacies target demographics and further disrupt social cohesion. Distrust has led some to believe the threat of COVID-19 to be an overreaction meant for overreach.

Maine has an obligation to protect all people. Any changes must be narrow, tailored and temporary, with excruciatingly careful consideration of “enforcement,” which risks prisoners already locked up. All citizens, even prisoners, share guaranteed rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We, the people, have a civic responsibility to protect life. If the basis of life is freedom, the basis of freedom is life. Threats of coercive measures ought be resisted, but as the state fails to supply the public with proper harm reduction, the people’s mutual social responsibility increases. It is not my right to go where I might infect anyone or their loved ones, and vice versa.

Instead of protesting, people should use caution. There is due process, and a safer alternative.

Heather Berube, Lewiston


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