May 1, 2020 -- Posted by : goi70

We all love Colorado’s great outdoors; that’s why we choose to live here. Spring is springing; the city is starting to scorch (it’s coming!), and an escape to the high country for some fresh, cool, crisp, clean (much cleaner than usual – many thanks to COVID’s attack on travel and commerce) mountain air is incredibly, incredibly tempting.

The state understands this, and in fact, we have seen a rise in traffic through the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel for the past several weeks. In light of these factors, CDOT and the Department of Natural Resources are strongly urging Coloradans from the Front Range to stay out of the mountains. Campgrounds, picnic areas, and other facilities at many of Colorado’s parks remain closed, and new public health guidelines dictate that people refrain from traveling more than 10 miles from their home to recreate. Seven weeks in and individual's guards are beginning to lower; it is super understandable. However, you need to stay away from the high country for the following reasons.

  • -While these towns – among the hardest hit per capita locations in the country – are finally starting to see rates of infection fade away, they can just as easily experience a spike that will derail 7 weeks of progress. When one from away visits, they could STILL be an asymptomatic carrier (rates of infection in urban areas are still high); and an asymptomatic carrier coming across a peer on a trail or depositing their respiratory droplets onto a bench in town, could be enough to cause a resurgence
  • -High country medical facilities have significantly less capacity than those in urban areas. Outbreaks can spread quickly and hospitals can get overwhelmed. After a really lengthy sprint, the speed and stress that healthcare professionals have been subjected to is finally starting to taper. These systems are recovering, though still vulnerable – so please do your part. Also, and in addition to sales tax (which is taking a major hit), many facilities are heavily dependent on elective procedures in the generation of revenue required to keep hospitals operating. During a crisis, these procedures cannot take place. The sooner cases plateau and decline, the better. We need our hospitals to stay financially healthy, so we can stay physically healthy!
  • -Colorado’s mountain towns need to be open for business again as quickly as they can. They’ll  need you to visit; they’ll need you to visit stores and buy things! For many counties and towns, their sales tax funds almost everything. Essential town services; including fire, police, healthcare, sanitation, transportation – much of this ties back to sales tax. Towns are being financially decimated and the only determinant of next year’s budget or the year after’s will be the date you are allowed to return to them and visit. This is a paradox in that the only way for you to get back to them is for you to stay away from them now! You have to stay away until the threat in the place where you live becomes negligible; you have to stay away until you can guarantee you aren’t an asymptomatic carrier. You just have to stay away – and quickest and easiest way out of this situation will be if the collective abides.  

Do not be temped. Think about the high country towns and the consequences. If you love Colorado, its people, its ski resorts, and its mountain towns. And if you enjoy spending on its rivers, woods, peaks, mountainsides, and main streets – you need to stay away. It’s tough, we know.


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