We must protect health care gains as we recover from the pandemic

We must protect health care gains as we recover from the pandemic

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

Noah Nesin is chief medical officer at Penobscot Community Health Care and chair of the Maine Prescription Drug Affordability Board.

Over the course of the past 11 months, we all have experienced the stresses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. In the earliest weeks, we struggled to understand this disease and how we could best protect ourselves, sharing the fear engendered by early outbreaks and their devastation of vulnerable people.

We learned together about droplet and airborne transmission, R-value, asymptomatic spread and doubling rates. We yearned to know how best to protect ourselves and our loved ones, and when that information became apparent (masking and social distancing), we witnessed the politicization of science and the polarizing impact of that dynamic.

Our early successes in Maine and a summer respite offered figurative and literal breathing space. And sadly, as autumn brought the predicted surge in cases and deaths, worsened by holiday travel and gatherings, we bore the burden of our collective sorrow and grief. Now, with vaccination underway and case numbers and deaths dropping, we join together in hope that each of us, our loved ones and our…

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