By Miriam Raftery
March 21, 2020 (Julian) – Julian, San Diego’s historic gold rush town, thrives on tourism. But yesterday, a press release sent by the Julian Chamber of Commerce board of directors asks visitors to stay away in order to protect the health of residents during the coronavirus emergency.
The release states:
“We’re asking anyone who is not a resident or property-owner in the Julian community or providing essential services to our residents to postpone your immediate visit to Julian for the time being. With the Governor’s order to shelter in-place from Thursday night, there really is no alternative. Like many small mountain communities our healthcare system would be taxed with an outbreak of COVID-19.
“With our being in close proximity to San Diego and other major urban population centers, we know that Julian seems like an attractive place to practice social distancing in the outdoors. We also fully understand the inclination to seek escape in the outdoors during difficult times, the reality is that doing so right now risks the lives of our residents and puts undue strain on our limited services.”
The release notes that activities have been cancelled and many services are not available:
“Restaurants (excluding takeout services), bars, tasting rooms and wineries and other public spaces are temporarily closed due to county-mandated health orders.Public gatherings have also been prohibited by the local, county and state government.
“Like many communities whose lifeblood is travel and tourism this is a hard message for us to send and runs against the very mission (for) which our organization exists: to welcome visitors to Julian and support our business community. We know how many of you cherish Julian, its history, the pie and the natural areas that surround it. We ask you to respect our community and this request to stay home for now.”
The Chamber emphasized that it looks forward to welcoming visitors again when the health crisis is over:
“Keep in mind the people of Julian, Lake Cuyamaca, Santa Ysabel and the natural areas that surround it remain a short drive away and will be welcoming you back with open arms (and elbow bumps) as soon as possible. If we all work together to do the right thing during this public health crisis today, then we all will be able to resume a normal life that much sooner.”