Publisher’s Perspective: Colored tiers and leadership (Opinion) | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Publisher’s Perspective: Colored tiers and leadership (Opinion)

Rob Galloway
Publisher’s Perspective
Rob Galloway
Tribune photo

Raise your hand if you are sick and tired of this pandemic.

After announcing on Monday that most of California has skidded into the purple tier, California Gov. Gavin Newsom pushed a lot of businesses back to a time that we’d all hoped was in our rearview mirror. But nevertheless, here we are. Again.

At the onset of the lockdowns, I recall thinking (or maybe hoping) that things should be close to getting back on track by this time. Instead, it feels like we’re back on the yo-yo headed upwards where there’s a lot less string to maneuver. Nevada is likely not far behind, but their status is uncertain at present time.

This back and forth is stressful. There may very well be businesses that do not survive this new tier. The struggle, as the say, is real. And yes, so is the virus.

We do not know how long we will be in this tier, but we do know what we can do to try and get out of it. However, are those same tactics that we’ve all grown to know and love (said with utmost sarcasm) enough to overcome the cold weather and the challenges it brings? I don’t know. I certainly hope so.

If that’s all it takes and everyone does their part, then maybe we’ll be out of this sooner than later. I don’t know anyone that wants to stay in this tier any longer than necessary — especially businesses.

This time around only 24 hours were given to make the necessary changes to adapt to the new tier. I understand the need for immediacy, but 24 hours is extremely tough. That decision from the governor had many business owners scrambling to figure out the road ahead, especially given the fact that the red tier was completely leapfrogged.

Much has been made of leadership during the pandemic, whether locally, county or statewide, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, nationally.

Both governors (California and Nevada) have had their brushes with not following the rules that they set forth. Businesses have been operating with one hand tied behind their backs for months and if the person who laid out the rules can’t follow their own plan, how are businesses supposed to react when further restrictions are put in place?

This is not a cry out to reject the movement of tiers. It’s a calling out for leadership to be better. We’ve been in this situation for eight months and we are still going back and forth like a game of tennis.

We knew the possibility of the virus 2.0 spiking in the colder months. Where was the focus of this? Why wasn’t more time and effort put into mitigating and possibly preventing this type of resurgence from happening? Oh, that’s right. More effort was put into winning an election than winning for its citizens.

This can’t be solely on the shoulders of the White House. The states have been directing the show for most of the pandemic and neither state that surrounds Lake Tahoe has put forth their best effort on this. Plain and simple, they need to be better. They need to find a way to protect the most vulnerable and help local businesses survive.

That’s definitely something more easily said than done. Gov. Newsom said that small business will be his number one priority once President-elect Biden takes office. That’s not good enough, governor. How many small businesses will have to close their doors because of your procrastination?

On the Nevada side, where changes are most likely imminent, it’s unknown how they might differ from California’s. Gov. Steve Sisolak has said that his approach will be to walk the fine line of mitigating the virus spread and maintaining state revenue. Other than acting the scolding parent of Nevada’s business and citizens, he’s yet to show any plan for small business, or business in general, either.

Our local businesses deserve better. During the weeks to come I encourage you, much like you did before, to support the local business community. If everyone does their part to help prevent the spread, the hope is that we can move out of this tier, and all subsequent restrictions, quickly.

In the meantime, let’s hope California and Nevada can provide better leadership than it has shown so far. We share a lake. There’s no reason why we can’t share a greater effort to improve our current situation.

Publisher Rob Galloway can be reached at rgalloway@tahoedailytribune.com or 530-542-8046.


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