▶️ Be Nice, You’re in Bend: COVID concerns has some locals picking on wrong crowd


Bend is a tourist town.

But not all the out-of-state license plates you spot in town are out-of-state visitors.

Newly Bend resident Julia Walsh can tell you that first-hand.

“Just because someone has, you know, a different license plate, especially in a town like Bend that’s growing and that has a lot of people who have moved here in the past five years, ten years,” Walsh said. “Maybe just consider that they’re not just here visiting.”

Walsh recently moved to Bend from California and is now the manager at Portello Wine Cafe in NorthWest Crossing.

After her shift Thursday night, she found a note on her windshield asking her to “please refrain from visiting” so Bend can be kept “safe and healthy.”

“I’m like I just got off this shift where I work almost every day, you know serving people and I come out to my car to find this,” Walsh said. “Just because I haven’t switched my Oregon plates over yet, doesn’t mean that I don’t live here.”

Barbara Baldwin is in the same boat, retiring to Bend from California only four months ago.

She says she doesn’t see an issue with out-of-state visitors, as long as they’re taking the proper precautions.

“Just keep social distancing and wearing masks, and try and be as safe as possible, you know,” Baldwin said. “We need to get it under control.”

Ellie Deuell is visiting from Seattle with friends and says if you’re going to visit from out-of-state, be respectful of those around you.

“I think just keeping your circle small right now among a couple people,” Deuell said. “And wearing masks obviously when you’re near others, staying six feet away, that’s just doing your part.”

Walsh would agree.

“As long as people are coming and being respectful and following guidelines just like locals are, then it should be a little bit more accepted,” Walsh said.

As for the note, Walsh says it was passive-aggressive and hurtful, but she does understand the concern.


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