Looking Ahead

Greetings friends. A few thoughts as we head towards summer.

First, Tillamook County has now gone three consecutive days without reporting any Covid cases. Coupled with the news that more and more Oregonians are becoming fully vaccinated every day and it truly feels like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But things will not be returning to “normal” any time soon.

As you are likely aware, the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people can now go maskless in most places. That’s all well and good but as you can imagine, this announcement caught our small businesses completely off guard. It puts them in the extremely unenviable position of playing vaccination police and there have already been several confrontations locally over this issue. The bottom line is small businesses all over Oregon have the right to decide how they want to handle the mask issue. Our business community has decided to keep their mask requirements in place, for their safety and yours. Please respect that decision and offer them your support, not your scorn.

Locally, we are experiencing an extreme labor shortage. There are a ton of job openings and not nearly enough applicants. This, in turn, puts a huge strain on our businesses’ ability to operate. The current housing boom has only exacerbated the lack of available affordable housing locally, driving many younger families out. If lines are longer at your favorite coffee shop or restaurant, please keep this in mind and practice patience. It takes far less energy than becoming angry.

At the end of the day our little community is like so many others around the country. We are struggling to keep up with shifting guidelines and continuing to pivot and adapt. Like you, we are all tired – tired of masks, tired of Covid, tired of being tired. There is no magic button we can push to fix any of the issues I’ve mentioned above. But we are pushing forward, nonetheless.

Dan Haag

Manzanita Visitors Center