Appreciate the good in difficult times


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The Opinion BDN section operates independently and does not set newsroom policies or contribute writing or writing articles elsewhere in the newspaper or on bangordailynews.com.

This week, most Americans will celebrate Christmas, but in their own way.

Personally, I’ll be watching Christmas by listening to Jonathan Winters’ rendition of “A Christmas Carol” on public radio and the traditional way of American Jews – with Chinese food and a movie. With the omicron variant on the loose, the dishes will not be eaten in a restaurant and the film will be streamed. And that will be more than good.

In a year of trying to thwart newer variants of COVID-19, the holiday celebrations are only part of what brought joy this year.

Close to my heart I saw great milestones made by friends and family including having a baby, getting engaged, starting higher education, replacing a job lost during the pandemic with a better one, moving to a new one. new region and prepare for a career change. With a colleague, I finished writing and published another book.

And so many people have worked hard to help others, to help us through these difficult times. One of the most inspiring and awe-inspiring things I have experienced was the Bangor Civic Center Immunization Clinic. Everyone was so pleasant and professional and everything was so well organized and efficient as people were moved step by step from checking in to the short wait after each shot. If it weren’t for the people who made this possible and then put in place ways to get a recall, we would be a lot less secure.

Maine has done much better than other states in dealing with COVID. Only two states – Vermont and Hawaii – have lower death rates. This is due to Maine’s high vaccination rates – a lesson that should be heeded in rural counties with increasing cases and fewer Mainers vaccinated.

The pandemic kept me in Maine primarily, but I found a lot to enjoy here.

Living in Bangor means you don’t have to travel for hours and hours to find a place to kayak with very few people, where you can call loons and watch eagles return to their nests. Many adventures began by traversing an Atlas and Geographic Index of Maine to locate non-motorized boat launches near remote lakes. I stood on the shores of the state to take in the stunning views before my husband and I launched our boats.

In addition to the less traveled paths, I checked out areas of the state that I hadn’t explored much, both rural and urban, and saw the sweep and majesty of Maine.

Folks, we live in an extraordinarily beautiful state. It’s one of the reasons people moved to Maine during the pandemic, which our aging state needed (but which led to a less affordable housing market).

Maine has also preserved our beauty by taking political action to protect the land. Besides the federal sites – Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument (another lovely place I first walked through in 2021) and Acadia National Park – we have lots of state parks, public reserve lands, and trusts. local.

We also strive to protect the environment and achieve national recognition for it. Consumer Affairs ranked Maine fifth on its list of greenest states, highlighting its strengths in tackling carbon emissions, waste, recycling, composting and energy production. The group also noted incentives and loans for heat pumps, electric vehicles, geothermal systems and better insulation. He noted that Maine passed the first law (LD 1541) to reduce packaging that transfers recycling costs to businesses.

More electric car charging stations have been installed in Maine, increasing 65% since 2019 and Governor Janet Mills is backing doing more. (Governor Paul LePage, on the other hand, was hostile to renewable solar and wind power.) While Senator Joe Manchin said on Sunday that he could not adopt Build Back Better in its current form, he supported some of its clean energy incentives, which the House bill provided for funding for 10 years.

Of course, there are many challenges ahead. But we also need to appreciate the good and plan to move forward, helping our loved ones and beyond. Next year there will be more to celebrate.

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