Phew! That sound you heard last Saturday was the collective exhale through the face coverings of many local business owners upon learning that Shasta County would remain in the less-restrictive, Red Tier – for now. Restaurants and many other Shasta County business types can continue to serve patrons indoors. This is a victorious moment in what has been a very trying stretch of time that has seen COVID cases spike in our community in recent weeks.
This win deserves a moment for the Redding Chamber of Commerce to give credit where credit is due. We owe much gratitude to the majority of people, who urged the Board of Supervisors during the 6-7 hours of public comment at last Thursday’s special meeting, to stay the course and abide by the health and safety guidelines put forth by the State of California to slow the spread of COVID-19, lower the average daily case rate, and get businesses back open. We also applaud the members of the Board of Supervisors and county administration who took that message to Dr. Mark Gahly, Secretary of the State of California Health & Human Services Department and chose to negotiate with the State, rather than revolt. Supervisors Joe Chimenti and Leonard Moty represented the Board on the phone call with Dr. Ghaly, who ultimately agreed that rural counties should be looked at differently than those with highly populated urban centers. “In business you negotiate, you never threaten”, Chimenti said, referring to the rhetoric brought forth by some in the community who wanted the county to defy the State’s orders, “We were successful in spite of the bullies, not because of them.”
Rudyard Kipling once wrote in his poem “If”,
“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise…”
This is a scenario of cooler heads prevailing. Not only has Shasta County scored a big victory for the business community, it has influenced how the State of California now adapts its metrics to rural counties throughout the State.
Our sleeves need to stay rolled up. We need to continue to work together to whittle down the average daily case rate, which is still too high. Let’s set our sights on the Orange and Yellow Tiers. To get there we need to keep doing whatever it takes to slow the spread, because if we STAY SAFE, we STAY OPEN.