Even though Door County was featured in a recent New York Times article about quarantining in place, even though Wisconsin has now set a punishable-by-law statute saying that unnecessary travel is prohibited, and even though most people should know better, the signs of early tourist and second-home-owner migration are upon us. Why? They would think, “Because the restrictions are for others, not me.”
The very real issues of limited beds in our only hospital are just the beginning. In the north end, we have only one full-service grocery store, which has been racing to keep up with even year-round residents. There are already severe shortages without ballooning the population. Tradespeople have never had to open vacation homes so early, but this year, they are in overdrive, proving the intent by many to arrive early.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has unbelievably added Airbnb to the list of necessary businesses. Why? If second-home owners are being told to stay away, why aren’t tourists?
One letter to the editor mentioned that summer residents are not putting a strain on services – those are already limited. Huh? So more people will help that? The north end of Door County has the highest per capita age in the country, meaning that even more people are susceptible than elsewhere.
Here is a small, but telling local example of how people see their rights in the face of opposing laws. Every year at the Pioneer Store, Carol tries to keep people from parking in the clearly marked no-parking area in front of her store. Even the handicapped spots are around the side. But many people ignore that and park there anyway.
I have sometimes said, “Sorry, there’s no parking there” to offenders entering the store. They always say the same thing: “I’m going to be only a minute.” My retort is, “Everyone is here only a minute.”
This is the attitude that will have people ignoring the rules, which are always for someone else.
Gills Rock, Wisconsin