▶️ COVID forces local inauguration celebrations to go virtual

By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTrAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

A sign of the times, there will be no local celebrations this inauguration day.

Most people will watch the swearing-in of Joe Biden as the country’s 46th president from the comfort of their homes.

“I know the Democratic Party of Oregon is hosting a virtual get together but normally it’s a watch at home kind of event,” said Jason Burge, Deschutes Democrats chairman.

According to Burge, presidential inaugurations have never been a big deal here on the west coast because they happen mid-week during the middle of the day.

But after the tumultuous November election and last week’s storming of the U.S. Capitol by people trying to stop Congress’s certification of the Electoral College results, nothing about this inauguration is normal.

“I think there’s a lot of stress, a lot of tension. I think regardless of what side you are on; you hope it goes smoothly; you hope it goes well,” said Andrew Doyle. “I just hope President Biden comes out and tries to heal a wounded nation at this point regardless of what the specifics are.”

“I’m happy. I’m excited about it. I’m going to watch it. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. I think it’s going to make some good changes,” said Judy Gordon.

Normally, some local political party volunteers and staff are invited to inauguration events ranging from gatherings and parties to a day of service on Martin Luther King Day leading up to the actual swearing-in ceremony.

“It’s really sad during this global pandemic that all these volunteers and staff that have worked really hard aren’t going to have that opportunity this year.”

“I’m pleased they’ve decided to go ahead and do it in a real formal way, outside. It’s going to be beautiful,” said John Proud. “I’m looking forward to the changes.”

You can watch the inauguration ceremony live at centraloregondaily.com beginning at 8 a.m.

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