Return to “Normal” ?

If I never have to type the words “COVID Update” again, it will be too soon.  The endless press briefings and long winded speeches by our leaders, as well as the biting opinions in the national news and social media, has made me rather desire to self isolate in a far deeper fashion.

So, here’s the good news: construction and public lands are opening back up, sort of.  And here’s the not so great news: our stay at home has been extended, and re-opening has been deferred to a 4-phase Safe Start plan.

Construction

Construction workers will have new worksite safety to take into consideration, including social distancing and sanitization. I don’t know about you, but the idea of onsite construction work and “sanitation” don’t ring synonymously with each other, but I think we all know what is meant. If the workers or construction companies are found to be non-compliant they could be shut down.

Parks and Recreation

May 5th was set to be a magical day for those desperate for some outdoor air and activities. According to a press release, the date marks a “partial opener to public lands, hunting, fishing, and golf.” It later states that “all activity should be restricted to recreating locally to where you live.”  This means only places that you can drive to and back from in a single day.

Washington State DNR, Fish & Wildlife, and State Parks will reopen for day use only. No camping or overnight stays will be allowed.

The press release goes on to say, “Most Fishing and Hunting seasons that are normally open at that time will resume, with exception of Marine areas and clam seasons. [Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife] has said they will refund license fees, tag fees, and reallocate preferences points to those who may have drawn special tags such as spring bear. They reiterate, if you cannot recreate within a day trip from your residence, you should not do it.”

Golf courses, including the Deer Park Golf Course, have now opened to play for 2 players together (can be from separate households). Groups of up to 4 will only be allowed if all are from the same household. Social distancing guidelines still apply.

“A Phased Approach to Recovery”

Though some in Washington are chomping at the bit to be “freed” from isolation, many are still concerned about lifting the quarantine too early. We have been victims of too much news through this whole process.  With confusion about political motivation and whether or not wearing a mask will really save lives, it’s hard to believe anything that we see, hear, or read.

Governor Inslee has listened to advising doctors along with lessons from history, and decided it would be best for all of Washington State to stay underground at least until May 31st, and has now added the Safe Start plan that will gradually reopen the state.  The whole plan can be found here: DPGazette.com/safestart

Though many seem prepared to dissent, others are wary of a likely second wave of infections.  

Happening Now

Costco now requires both shoppers and employees to wear a mask while in the store.

Northeast Tri-County Health District and the Stevens County Commissioners (Ferry and Pend Oreille Counties) have applied for a variance to Governor Inslee’s Stay Home – Stay Healthy order, which would move these counties to Phase 2.  By May 11th these, as well as several other variances have been granted.

Final Thoughts

I will refrain from sharing my own held beliefs, however, I will ask our community’s residents to be patient and courteous with each other.  The supply chain is still reeling from the earlier hoarding, as well as the shutdown.  We should not reach out to each other with anger and abuse.  

Some may feel the need to reopen their businesses; if this concerns you, don’t patronize them. There are many who are still high risk; be considerate and wear a mask to protect them. 

Think of others before yourself, we’re all in the same storm.

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