Trying Times


Our community currently finds itself in the middle of the greatest public health crisis most of us have ever experienced. Here on the beach, we are not strangers to natural disasters. Hurricanes – we know, oil spills – we know, Red Tide and Blue-Green Algae – we know.

But this…this is something completely different. The corona virus, COVID-19, has crept across the globe over the past few months and found its way right here to Lee County, resulting in restrictions and guidelines that we’ve never seen before.

The speed of imposition of restrictions and cancelations is unprecedented. Here on Fort Myers Beach, we’ve gone from life is normal to cancelation of two major events to bar closures and restaurant restrictions, 6-foot spacing and 50% capacity, to beach closures and a town that suddenly looks more like July than March. All in the space of just one week. If your head is spinning, there’s good reason.

Labeled a pandemic just last week, it’s taken some time for the seriousness of this threat to public health to sink in. It’s not a political trick to make anyone look bad or an overreaction by some nerdy scientists. It’s the real thing. A virus that can kill, is killing. It’s not the flu, it’s much worse than any flu. And worst of all, there are more questions than answers right now. For accurate information on COVID-19, please, please use official medical and governmental resources.

While some are saying the government is overreacting. It’s not. Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton captured the key point of all the prevention efforts.

“On the front end of a pandemic, you look a little bit like an alarmist. You look a little bit like a Chicken Little – the sky is falling. On the back end of the pandemic, you didn’t do enough.”


Congratulations to the three winners of this week’s Town Council election – Dan Allers, Jim Atterholt and Bill Veach! You are joining council during a very difficult time and we look forward to your leadership as we move forward.

Our current council is doing a great job of caring for our Island, residents and visitors during this crisis and we thank them for their hard work and dedication to that effort.

Support Local Business

There is a lot of uncertainly right now, especially in our business community. The restrictions are hurting the bottom line of every beach business and every employee of those businesses. We urge Islanders to support those businesses and their employees in any way they can. If they are open, patronize them, even if it’s ordering a gift card online. Tip what you can afford.

We will get through this together.


Missy & Bob Layfield
Island Sand Paper Owners