Elected Officials in the Time of CovidI


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Elected Officials in the Time of CovidI


This item is one of four items that were submitted together to the How's Your Week Going? COVID-19 Story Archive by web form.


Sagadahoc History & Genealogy Room. Patten Free Library (Bath, Me.)




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I'm a state representative for the towns south and east of Bath. The legislature ended after one long day where we passed emergency legislation providing the Governor what she needed to steer the state through this pandemic. We also passed legislation expanding Unemployment Insurance, which has been invaluable in these past couple of week. Ever since we adjourned March 17, I've been on the phone non-stop, and if not on the phone, answering emails. Constituents are worried and their lives have been turned upside down and it's my job to help them navigate this new world -- finding a food bank, or access to SNAP benefits, or reliable housing -- because they've lost their job and their children are home because school has closed. The rules have changed daily to adjust to changing conditions here in Maine. We are on conference calls with the Commissioner of Labor, and the Maine CDC Director weekly, and other officials as necessary. The legislative delegation in the County "meet" weekly with the County Sheriff and EMA Director. Each drastic new change on our lives seems disorienting -- things that once seemed unbelievable like schools closing, stores closing, shelter-in-place -- and yet each new practice brings us closer to being on the other end of this. I worry about my constituents and neighbors, and have been calling the ones over 70. I also worry about moms and dads and the kids in this new world, and those who suddenly lost a job they never thought they would lose. I admire the health care workers, first responders, and grocery store clerks and pharmacists, and gas station attendants. Still, in the midst of this, there is the ever-changing and eternal beauty of spring. There are the weekly Friday evening "Dresden cocktail hours" with friends. The sentence I keep coming back to that gets me through each day is something that Winnie the Pooh said, : “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."


Hepler, Allison L., “Elected Officials in the Time of CovidI,” How's Your Week Going?, accessed December 8, 2021, https://howsyourweek.omeka.net/items/show/2.

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