Maine CDC Director: ‘It’s Okay to Not Be Okay’
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah had some inspirational words to end his update this morning on the status of Maine's coronavirus situation.
First we learned that Maine now has 432 reported cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19), up from 376 Thursday. 113 people have recovered, 75 have had to be hospitalized at some point and two more deaths have occurred bring Maine's total deaths due to complications from COVID-19 to 9.
Aroostook and Washington counties now have their first, and as of this writing, only confirmed case of COVID-19.
Here's a map of the breakdown of number of cases by county from the Maine CDC.
Governor Janet Mills has ordered all Mainers to stay home unless you work for an essential business or need to do an essential activity. The executive order remains in effect until April 30. Find out what that means for you by clicking or tapping here.
Before turning the briefing over to questions, Dr. Shah took a moment to reflect on where things stand right now in Maine with some inspiring words addressing how we are all feeling right now:
Today’s Friday, but what do days of the week even mean right now, especially if you’re struggling? A lot of us don’t feel okay with all of this disorientation, and that’s okay because it’s okay to not be okay.
For many of us, we live in a world where science fiction right now is actually science fact. Speaking for myself, there are times where it feels like we’re living in a dream. One of those situations where you wake up in the middle of the night and you’re not quite sure whether what happened the day before was real or some figment of your subconscious. It’s almost as if we’re living in a movie that was written, cast and directed by our literary friend up in Bangor.
But unlike a dream where your subconscious is in control, or a work of fiction where the author is in control, we are in a situation where we are in control, even though it may not feel that way. We are the ones who are writing the script right now. We are the ones who can control the arc of the story by doing particular things like physically distancing ourselves. Like washing our hands. Like covering our coughs and making sure we all stay healthy. We, all of us in Maine, get to write the next chapter and we get to write the ending ourselves.
I recognize that these are difficult times, but there are steps that we can all take to take control of the situation.
If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, including a runny nose, sore throat, dry cough, fever and in severe cases, difficulty breathing, the Maine CDC says you should call your doctor before going in so that they can prepare for your arrival.
Shah says that right now, our only vaccine against the COVID-19 is physical distancing. It is the key to flattening out the curve of the spread of the coronavirus, a point Dr Shah stressed is vitally important for Mainers to practice. A low curve means that the virus is spreading slowly which gives doctors more time and resources to treat more people. The higher the curve, the most people get sick at once and medical facilities get overwhelmed. Shah says that right now, our only vaccine against the COVID-19 is physicalldistancing.
The Maine CDC continues to update with new information daily. Keep checking on our mobile app or website to get the latest.