Many of us really want to reopen our lives, but until we all get tested and find out if we are carriers, opening up at all is likely to keep us under lockdown for another school year. Adhering to the norm of September-June for students will make a truly significant difference to our children, to our workforce, and to making sure small businesses can remain in existence.
I don’t believe Tillamook can recover from the lockdown unless we stay the course and remain separated until EVERYONE knows whether they are carriers, or current and former survivors of the virus. We can’t afford to open early and let the virus loose again, and then have to go through the isolation all over again, but for even longer, and with casualties.
What would help right now would be for EVERYONE to wear masks in public places (at the very least in grocery stores and in businesses that are currently open.) Evidently many locals think they don’t need masks, and they continue putting the rest of us at risk. If they haven’t chosen by now to cooperate, they likely will not pay attention to the milder restrictions of re-opening. School busses won’t be safe until we have a vaccine, or 1 child per seat and lots of wipes.
Day care won’t provide a safe place, more tourists will keep us guessing in restaurants, and all the impressive avoidance we have managed thus far will be undone and restartedin time to sabotage 2021. It would be reassuring if we all stepped back and listened too the people who are experts who have dedicated their lives to learning how to keep us all alive.
All those deceased from this pandemic will have died for nothing if we cannot honor them by keeping each other alive. This is not as much a choice as a responsibility. It is unpatriotic to allow yourself the luxury of making others sick or spreading death to those whose work and company sustains us. Let’s not pressure our officials to reopen Tillamook, or the parks and beaches, just because they fear losing the votes of those who don’t care; those who just want what they want. We are better than that, and we can sacrifice our pleasure for a little longer, even if only to honor the deaths of so many lost loved ones. No more loss of life need happen if we all can just be patient, responsible, and “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” It’s really not that difficult to show respect and wear a mask. Be safe, be kind, be someone we all can be proud to have as a neighbor.
Deborah and Thomas Neal