You are the owner of this article.

Seaside quiet as concerns about virus grow

Town usually bustles for spring break

  • 1
Bubbles

Children play with bubbles on the Promenade in Seaside.

SEASIDE — Spring break usually brings the first real rush of tourists to the coast.

But this time it’s quiet. Many of the tourists who are visiting despite the coronavirus pandemic have to peek through shop windows to see who is still open.

Jimmy Griffin, the owner of Seaside Brewing Co., stood in his empty restaurant Thursday filling to-go orders while juggling other tasks. He said the restaurant and patio would typically be packed on a sunny spring afternoon.

Jimmy Griffin

Jimmy Griffin is the owner of Seaside Brewing Co.

After Gov. Kate Brown ordered restaurants and bars in Oregon to offer takeout-only as a precaution against the virus, Griffin spent the past few days updating his website and buying new marketing materials to advertise to-go options.

But now he thinks it won’t be long until Oregon follows California and New York and directs people to stay at home. “Financially, it’s affecting me just as much as it is everyone else,” Griffin said. “This is really hurting us.”

But he believes taking precautions is better than the alternative if the pandemic is not contained.

“We’re all going to have to make some sacrifices here,” he said.

Griffin said he employed nearly 30 people before Monday. Other popular downtown restaurants, including Finn’s Fish House, Twisted Fish Steakhouse and Sports Lounge and the Times Theatre & Public House, have closed. Some restaurants have managed to keep a few employees working by taking to-go orders and delivering.

“This isn’t us trying to save money,” Griffin said. “This is us now working 15 to 20-hour days, not because we’re busy, but because we’re trying to keep our businesses open so we can bring our people back.

“In a little town like this, a lot of us bleed all winter long so that we have our people around in spring and summer,” he said. “Spring break is when we make some of that back ... It’s not going to happen this year. So we’re going to see a lot of real stressed businesses this year as a result of that.”

Molly Morgan

Molly Morgan, a jewelry store in downtown Seaside, uses signs to let people know the shop is open.

Kyleigh Hoffman, who works at Molly Morgan, a jewelry store, fears what more government restrictions would do to businesses.

“We’re just going to wait — just sit and wait,” she said. “That’s kind of what everyone’s doing is just waiting for the other shoe to drop ... There’s so many rumors circulating, but nobody really, truly knows what’s happening.”

Hoffman said the local layoffs have made the pandemic feel more real. However, she said it has been comforting to see the community come together despite the stress and uncertainty.

Hoffman said the city has been quiet the whole week, but was happy to see more tourists trickle in as the weekend neared.

Michele Bundy, of Portland, said she was surprised to see as many businesses open. She took a daytrip with her husband and two children to have a picnic on the beach.

“We call it our happy place,” Bundy said. “If we can’t do anything else, we can still go to the beach.”

Finn's

Finn's Fish House is one of many restaurants in Seaside that are temporarily closed.

Suz Figini, of Oregon City, also drove to the coast for a daytrip with her daughters and two grandchildren. She said her daughter was home for spring break, so they decided to spend an afternoon at the beach.

“Who would think that would be a show stopper,” Figini said, watching her grandchildren play with giant bubbles being blown onto the Promenade.

“I think we’re all getting back to simple things,” she said. She remembers visiting her aunt and uncle in Seaside growing up, and what it looked like to her as a child.

Figini said the daytrip allowed her to relax and escape the reality of the pandemic for a few hours while they wandered the beach and shopped at Ter Har’s. She said she wanted to make sure her daughters got to see the Astoria Column before heading back home.

Griffin remembered how the North Coast pulled together during the Great Coastal Gale of 2007 when it really counted.

“But this is kind of a different thing,” he said. “We’re not helping each other out and clearing debris out of the roads — we have to stay away from each other this time. So how do you band together when you can’t be together? What’s that going to look like?

“I think people are going to have to be thoughtful and compassionate. And I think they’re going to have to get on the same page about what this truly is and how we get through it.”

Promenade

Tourists enjoy the weather on the Promenade in Seaside.

Nicole Bales is a reporter for The Astorian, covering police, courts and county government. Contact her at 971-704-1724 or nbales@dailyastorian.com.

Recommended for you

(1) comment

Ed McFadden

This article is misleading at the best and not helpful.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Coronavirus Sections

Get breaking news!

Coronavirus FAQ

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Can I get COVID-19 from my pets or other animals?

There is no reason at this time to think that any animals, including pets, in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.

Pets have other types of coronaviruses that can make them sick, like canine and feline coronaviruses. These other coronaviruses cannot infect people and are not related to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals, such as washing your hands and maintaining good hygiene.

Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick with COVID-19?

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the new coronavirus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets.

What about imported animals or animal products?

CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that imported animals or animal products pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the United States.

What precautions should be taken for animals that have recently been imported from outside the United States?

At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets and service animals, can spread COVID-19. As with any animal introduced to a new environment, animals recently imported should be observed daily for signs of illness. If an animal becomes ill, the animal should be examined by a veterinarian. Call your local veterinary clinic before bringing the animal into the clinic and let them know that the animal was recently imported from another country.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News

Local Sports

Local News