November 2020 Letter from the President

46 days and counting? I do not know about all of you but 2020 has been one of the most stressful years of my life.           

I cannot wait for it to be over. 

Covid-19 came in fast and strong;  businesses were forced to shut down,  communities quarantined,  social distancing enforced, face masks required, schools closed, folks were required to work at home; which for many working parents that was a huge undertaking. Computers, internet service, desks, headphones etc. needed to be purchased and space arranged in your home for an office in a quiet, confidential space.  How do you work at home when you have bored children running around who just want to see their friends, and now you must home school them during all this? Many folks were laid off, which is a financial burden for the family. Many were experiencing illness or the flu during these times as well. Medical folks, first time responders, grocery clerks, gas station attendants and many other public workers all risked their own lives to serve us. They also risk their family’s well-being. I want to make it clear; I am all for stopping this Covid-19 Pandemic and complying with what ever is necessary to control the virus. No one wants to get this virus. I have a few out of state friends that did get it and they all said it was like having the flu on steroids. Many were in bed for 6 weeks, too weak to walk, talk or eat. Luckily, they have all survived, but who knows what the long-term effects will be on their bodies and minds? We are now facing a second wave of the pandemic. Over 235,000 Americans have already died from the virus.  Vaccines are promised but have not been delivered. Once again business and schools will be closed, folks are still working from home, if they have one. Many still laid off. Once again, all the public workers, medical folks, first time responders, gas station attendants and grocery clerks are being forced to risk their lives to serve us. Please be respectful and wear a mask, wash your hands many times a day and thank all those wonderful caring folks for putting us first in their lives. We do not need any more lives lost to this virus. 

Just when you think you have had enough; a natural disaster happens. The Holiday Farm Wildfire hit fast and furiously throughout our McKenzie River Recreational Valley. It devastated our beautiful area in just hours. Many, many folks lost not only their homes but all their worldly and sentimental processions in a matter of minutes. Evacuating yourself in the middle of the night with fire all around you is hard enough, but then throw in a couple of children and animals and it is overwhelming. The long lines of traffic headed east, and west was scary for all involved. Finding a safe place to go to, not knowing where to go or what is available. Frightened children, blazing flames and darkness were just a few things people had to deal with. Not knowing if your family or friends got out and where they were. Cell towers burned so communications were not available in a many of situations. For many it was weeks before they could get back up the river to see what they had or did not have. Many they still do not have power or internet. Many are still in motel rooms, wondering where they will be when the Red Cross runs out of money to house them. Winter is coming on; the rains are about to start. Where will you live? Many businesses were burned, lively hood destroyed. I can directly relate, being a realtor, most of my business went up in smoke overnight.  Folks working at home no longer have a home, which means loss of jobs as well. Children are having to learn remotely; some do not have computers or internet. Children do not understand having their processions missing or destroyed, it is a hard-enough concept for adults. Fire is like death; it comes unexpectedly, takes your breath away and leaves nothing behind except memories. 

When, Where, What and Why? Usually these questions are addressed on a birthday invitation or wedding announcement. Now we must address these questions as they would relate to a Business Plan to rebuild our McKenzie River Recreational Valley and Community. When? Right now, today, tomorrow and for the future.  Where? The entire McKenzie River Recreational Valley needs your help and support. What? A home or business plan needs to be designed. Outlined step by step. Who will be your key players to implement it? Where is your financial backing? Set goals and timelines you need to accomplish? Check in often to make sure you are on track. Business owners talk to community members to see what they would like to see back in their community. The McKenzie River Valley’s main economy is tourism. While designing your business plan take that into consideration. Tourist and seasonal homeowners want to be entertained, have eating establishment choices, room to roam and safe social distancing areas.  Why? We have been a strong community; we shall strive to rebuild our homes and businesses. Why? Because we all loved what we had and now hope to have the opportunity to make what we rebuild a better place to live, work and play. Why? Because we are McKenzie Strong. The McKenzie Chamber of Commerce is here for you.  Be Well and wear your mask. 

Nadine Scott, President McKenzie Chamber of Commerce, homeowner, and business owner


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