Letter to the Editor: Choose hope

To the Editor: 

Nationally our leaders have done a terrible job of communicating what we all need to do as citizens and fellow human beings during the COVID-19 outbreak. We’re not talking about washing hands and social distancing. We’re talking about how we need to come together, as family, friends and fellow citizens to take this on together. This isn’t China’s problem, this isn’t Europe’s problem, this is all of humanity’s problem. 

If we’re going to get through this, if we are going to come out stronger in the end like we have when facing incredible societal challenges in the past, it’s going to be because of sacrifice, sharing and selflessness. 

People didn’t endure the Great Depression, this nation didn’t survive two world wars, dancing for decades on the brink of nuclear Armageddon, or advance out of the tumult, divisiveness and chaos of taking a stand against racism, sexism and the stupidity of the Vietnam War by retreating from individual responsibilities to communities and the nation. Don’t think of other people as “them,” during this troubled time. There can be only “us.” 

Rather than scoff at people you may think are alarmist, overly cautious or weak, extend a hand, try to understand. Rather than shun, console. Rather than hoard, share. 

In the end we will get through this. There will be more than enough sadness and loss to go around. Yes, there may be tougher times ahead but the industriousness, creativity, virtues, honesty and decency that have got this country to where it is today are going to be what will be our salvation now. 

Be ready to ask yourself when we at last reach a time when the clouds of this crisis part, when the sunshine returns, when the winds once again blow fair, when we have the luxury to shift from reaction to reflection, where stood you? Will you be counted among those who ignored health advisories, fanned the fears, took unfair advantage, or coveted more than their fair share leaving little or none for their neighbors. Or will you be counted among those who rose above the baser instincts of our species’ savage heritage and proved that humanity can indeed be defined by the joining of hands, heart, and hope. 

Be well. Be safe. Love each other. 

Earl Brechlin 

Bar Harbor 



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