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Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Glenn Morris talks about the “Protect. Respect. Wear Your Mask” campaign kickoff at the Maldonado Youth Center in Santa Maria in May 2020. Listening are, from left, Shelby Sim, president and CEO of Visit the Santa Ynez Valley; Holly Sierra, Buellton mayor, Hancock College President Kevin Walthers and Sue Andersen, president and CEO of Marian Regional Medical Center.

Just a few short weeks ago, we celebrated with many as restrictions that were disrupting our lives and putting local businesses and the jobs they support at risk were finally lifted. The news was full of stories about how our community and our economy were “roaring back” as we moved to reclaim our traditions and our way of living.

Today, it’s clear that we haven’t yet beaten the virus. The number of our neighbors and friends who are in the hospital has returned to unacceptable levels. We had to dig our masks out again.

The debates resumed around what measures worked or didn’t, should be tried or shouldn’t.

Glenn Morris is the President and CEO of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce.

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