Another week has passed at home, and I know many of us are getting restless. None of us ever expected to be juggling homeschooling children while navigating remote work. None of us were prepared to stock our pantries for weeks and think of ways to entertain our loved ones at home. None of us expected to be among the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs and are worried about when the next paycheck is coming. To say this is hard is a vast understatement.

Maine’s Commissioner of Education has recommended that all our schools remain in distance learning for the rest of the school year. Five-town CSD superintendent Maria Libby has already announced that she will follow that guidance, as has Islesboro Central School’s Head of School Chuck Hamm. Both are working on alternative ways to safely redesign graduation and other important end of the year happenings to provide continuity, an ongoing sense of community, and some closure – especially for our seniors.

Gov. Mills announced that the date of our spring primary election will be moved from June 9 to July 14. The change provides more time for Mainers to request absentee ballots and more time for the Secretary of State to develop guidelines and help municipalities conduct in-person voting in as safe a manner as possible.

Both of these updates signal that we are not yet near the end of this COVID-19 crisis. But there are some bright spots. There is the generosity of Maine’s public universities and community colleges supplying needed materials, research and even campus buildings to aid in the effort.There are the businesses shifting their focus to making personal protective equipment for health care workers and everyday Mainers, including Lyman-Morse, using their 3D printer to fabricate frames for face shields, and building and donating Intubation Aerosol Boxes, which will protect nurses while intubating COVID-19 patients. We also have a large number of dedicated home sewers making masks for friends and neighbors right here in our district, and a pop up PPE factory that has launched in Camden.

It’s hard to feel lucky right now, but stories like these remind me that I’m fortunate to be facing this pandemic in a state where people step up for each other.

I’m also grateful that no one was hurt in the recent explosion in Jay, and that our own Maine astronaut Jessica Meir is on her way back to our atmosphere after seven months in space. Here’s a quick interview with Jessica as she prepared to come home to a very different Earth.

It is a very different world we are inhabiting right now, but we are in this together. Please continue to reach out and let me know if there is any support I can provide or questions I can answer.

Stay well.

Rep. Victoria Doudera serves District 94 in the Maine Legislature.