As we enter March there is a sense of optimism in the air – and pride. We in Maine have so far weathered the pandemic much better than most states – and with far fewer deaths. Many grandparents – and parents and some children – will be celebrating the 4h of July and Christmas this year who would otherwise be missing if not for the fact our state and Governor let science not politics guide decisions. Yes, there are people missing, but it could have been far, far worse. There is a sense of optimism as the economy is now getting back to life, stores are bustling, and the masks seem no more a nuisance than wearing shoes. We’ve learned how to be safe while still being active. Now, as the vaccine is getting distributed, we need to let that optimism and pride lead us to continue being safe. Over half a million have died nationwide, Luckily only 700 in Maine, thanks to leadership that followed rational science. Our economy is also doing better than many states whose carelessness got them hit harder.. Masks are no big burden – claims they cause health problems have been totally debunked. Let’s wear them in public places a little longer as we get vaccinated and the economy starts roaring back. A stimulus from the federal government will help spur the economy onward, very good days are ahead – there is cause for both our optimism and our pride! 2021 looks to be an excellent year – and 2022 even better!