As I ran errands in Fryeburg today, businesses still had their mask mandate signs up. I carried a mask but didn’t put it on. I was waiting for someone to tell me to but that didn’t happen. Fryeburg business owners all know me as a conservative so perhaps that was it. When I asked a few why they still had the mask signs up, proprietors told me our beloved mother, I mean Gov. Janet Mills, said we can stop wearing masks on May 24.

“I assume she informed all the COVID-19 virus particles that May 23 is the absolute last day they’re allowed to infect us. Am I right?” I asked one woman. She and a clerk who overheard burst out laughing. Everyone I saw in that store had masks on.

My daughter and grandson arrived in Maine last week after driving across the country from Portland, Ore. They reported that no one was wearing masks in the Midwest except for the Chicago area. It’s only on the coasts that people wear them. Should we expect people in middle America to start dying now?

A woman from the CDC told us we can use our own judgment now about whether to mask up, socially distance, wash hands every 10 minutes, and all that. What’s changed? How come government now trusts ordinary citizens to make up their own minds? They have no clue how many of us have been doing that right along.

People on the coasts have obviously decided for themselves before the guidance from the CDC. Coastal blue people, when asked why they continue wearing masks, respond that they don’t want to be mistaken for conservatives. I’m not kidding. They actually say that when interviewed by reporters. Others say they keep wearing a mask because they want to show how much they care for others. These people are so virtuous! I feel like a sinner in their presence.

Covering up half my face for the past year has improved my looks, I’ll admit, and the elastics that pull my ears forward has improved my hearing. Although that aural gain is offset when other people’s words are muffled from being spoken through cloth and from behind plexiglass.

It was so nice to watch Sen. Rand Paul expose the lying Anthony Fauci in a Senate hearing room. The previously sainted Fauci denied funding “gain of function” research during his lifelong career with our government — and said Paul’s accusations to the contrary were completely incorrect. As it came out over the next few days, however, that Fauci approved our tax money be given to an NGA that, in turn, gave it to the Chinese in Wuhan, China, for that research. So he didn’t fund the “gain of function” research. They did.

I had to look up “gain of function” research to learn that meant scientists were researching how to enable viruses to infect humans. Why in God’s name would they ever want to do that, I wondered. Then I learned that President Obama had banned such research years ago. Well, how about that? Something Obama did that I can actually applaud. Fauci and another scientist, however, found a loophole that enabled them to continue funding it, although indirectly. 

Have you noticed that Fauci’s halo has been removed? He’s not on television every day anymore either. Do you miss him? I sure don’t.

Another thing: it’s no longer racist to call this “The Wuhan Virus” or “The China Virus.” The former head of the CDC told us he believes the virus escaped from lab in Wuhan that got money through the formerly-sainted doctor Fauci to do that “gain of function” research. Apparently it didn’t come from some Chinese person eating a bat purchased from a wet market. Will anyone who called me racist now apologize? Probably not.

I’ve read where a few brave scientists are suggesting that all the economic shutdowns, the social distancing, the mask-wearing — none of it had any effect. The virus was going to do what it did regardless of all that. We could have avoided all that misery. All the businesses that closed didn’t have to. All the schools that closed didn’t have to. Imagine. Are they right? I suspect they are. If so, will our political leaders ever admit it? You know the answer.

The main road through Fryeburg has been choked by construction for almost two years now. I know the back roads so I can avoid it during my errands, but I don’t see road construction projects taking nearly so long over the New Hampshire border a few miles away. Why is that? Let’s see: Democrats have been running Maine for the entire 45 years I’ve lived here. Republicans have run New Hampshire for almost all of that time.

Could that have something to do with it?

Tom McLaughlin lives in Lovell, Maine. Reach him at

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(2) comments


I just think it's telling that the CDC announces that people no longer have to wear masks, and the first response from New Hampshire "health officials" is to scoff and act shocked. The same people who have been telling us to listen to the CDC and "trust the science" for over a year are now saying we shouldn't believe what the CDC tells us. Absolutely removes any doubt in my mind that this was ever anything more than politics and social control.

Scott Shallcross

States with the highest Covid rates per capita as of May 5th: #1 North Dakota, #3 South Dakota #4 Utah #5 Tennessee # 6 Arizona #7 Iowa #8 Nebraska #9 Wisconsin #10 Oklahoma. Someone get McLaughlin a map. (Fellow Conwaysun curmudgeon columnist, William Marvel, once called McLaughlin a "whipping boy" for liberals. Marvel is usually more careful with language. A "whipping boy" takes punishment for someone else. McLaughlin usually deserves the opprobrium he receives.) BTW: self-accredited doctor Rand Paul once again exposed himself as a fraud in that hearing and the New Hampshire RT. 16 Portsmouth/Dover construction project took 10 years.

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