“There’s no use crying over spilt milk.”

That familiar phrase came to mind Monday while thumbing through a draft 2021 Ketchikan cruise ship calender that was created back on Dec. 11.

Had the 2021 cruise ship season that was envisioned on Dec. 11 actually come to pass, the Holland America Line’s Zuiderdam would have been visible from a Daily News’ office window while this was being written on Monday.

On Tuesday, the Norwegian Sun, Royal Princess and Majestic Princess all would have arrived in Ketchikan by around 6:30 a.m. And in the days to follow, Ketchikan would have had at least one cruise ship visiting on every day but one between Thursday and Sept. 18.

Alas, there was no Zuiderdam on Monday. Nor are there NCL or Princess Cruises ships on the horizon today. It’s being said that large ship cruising from U.S. ports could resume in mid-July, yet such a resumption could occur here in Alaska only through federal and/or international actions that are theoretically possible but remain unachieved at this point. Each day that passes without a clear path to resuming cruises in Alaska decreases the likelihood of seeing large ships here this year.

But there’s no use crying over spilt milk or empty docks.

We understand the ongoing effects are immense. It’s been humbling to hear of plans and investments evaporating as the pandemic erased one cruise season and now starts to chew through another. Many difficult decisions continue to be made daily in Ketchikan. Stay? Go? Adapt? Try something new?

What’s needed most are clear, honest assessments of the situation, now and going forward. Political and industry leaders should be forthcoming with the best information to help Ketchikan decide its paths forward.

The local governments have been working diligently to assess the circumstances to react and plan ahead. We’ve been encouraged by local businesses, nonprofits and individuals who are adapting and innovating, pruning the unviable and seizing the possible.

What we can’t do is look back and try to recount the chickens that didn’t hatch for Ketchikan (to borrow another phrase). Although much of what has occurred has resulted from outside factors, how we respond is up to us.