Posts Tagged ‘WA’

Pride cometh before… approaches re-open.

Saturday, May 16th, 2020 online photo

I’ve been feeling proud of our county these past few weeks — especially with regard to their decision to close the beach approaches on the Peninsula to help allay the spread of Covid-19.  It was a hard decision to make.  And yet, it seems to me, it was a no-brainer.

Today’s breaking news story in the online Chinook Observer is headlined: “Pacific County approves plan to reopen beach approaches next Monday, May 18.”  Apparently, after due consideration, our commissioners, in concert with the county health department and law enforcement, have looked at various reopening options — including, perhaps,  waiting for a bit or opening only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  The decision has been made.  Open!  Seven days a week!

I wish I’d been at the meetings.  My question, as always, would have been, “Why?”  One of my earliest memories of my mother being disgusted with me was her answer to my persistent “why” about something.  “Oh, Sydney,” she said, “why’s a hen?”  And I understood perfectly, even at the tender age of three, that I was being a pain in the ass and there would not be a satisfactory answer to my question.

Seattle Times Photo

About opening the beaches, the answer to my “why” question is clear:  The residents of Pacific County are chopped liver.   It’s all about tourism and the economy.  In an earlier story about the deliberations,  Commissioner Frank Wolfe was quoted:

“Closing the beach approaches did seem to help reduce people traveling to the area at first,” Wolfe said. But as the weather improves, he expects more visitors to come regardless of the closures. “The beaches give people a place to go and spread out,” Wolfe said.

“Other than building barricades on 101, I don’t know how we could keep people out if we wanted to, and quite honestly those people are our life’s blood here and we really don’t want to have them stay away,” Wolfe said.

Chinook Observer Photo

Why am I not surprised?  When has our County ever been able to hold a line — any line?  And now, right when the infection rate in Pacific County has been on the rise, we are encouraging tourism?  Will the tourist-related businesses be opened next, regardless of the health-related numbers? Whose “life’s blood” is being considered here, anyway? I thought our County was going to consider health first…   Why did they change their minds?  Why is short term economics more important than the possibility of life/death?

“Why’s a hen, Sydney?”