Protect Our Valley, a student-led group taking action during the COVID-19 crisis

By Karsen Williams
Battle Mountain High School
Image from the Social Distancing Quaranteen challenge. Domenic Yunker, a local Battle Mountain junior, is climbing all around his house, training and practicing safe social distancing. Go to instagram page @protectourvalley to view more photos and participants as well as Covid 19 updates and data. Win gift cards to local businesses, if you participate.
Special to the Daily

Our dear Eagle County, amongst others across the world, has been challenged with the COVID-19 outbreak. While everyone sits at home during quarantine spending time with family, pets, working and performing household activities, there are many others out there helping to keep us safe. Thank you to those working hard every day putting themselves at risk. The roughest times lead to the greatest changes and the biggest opportunities. 

Image from the secret life of pets quarantine challenge.Win gift cards to local business, if you participate.
Special to the Daily

Ethan Pyke, a local high school senior at Battle Mountain High School, has put forth a passion to protect our county and our people. With the help of Mountain Youth, he has put together a team called Protect Our Valley to help keep our community informed and to bring others together when we need it most. His team of highschool students across Eagle County has been working together throughout the week to plan ways to keep youth specifically informed and engaged in the COVID-19 outbreak. Everyone is going through difficult experiences nobody has dealt with in our era. We are treading new water, and Protect Our Valley is here to help. We encourage you to reach out via email and check out the Protect Our Valley Instagram page that will provide updates on the COVID experience in our community. Information about the outbreak includes cases in our county, ways to stay safe, and community outreaches such as lunches provided to students in need. Not only do they have data but these high school students have started online challenges for people to show how they have been self-quarantining. They have had two challenges so far on social media, one asking participants to show how they have spent time in quarantine and the other showing the secret life of pets in quarantine. A new challenge has just been released which challenges participants to show off the masks they have been making or designing. Winners of these challenges will be rewarded with gift cards to local businesses that are also struggling at this time. Three winners are chosen every challenge so make sure to participate! 

Our seniors in this community have sacrificed many experiences and memories including their graduation ceremonies due to quarantine. If everyone follows the guidelines and practices safe measures we can get through this soon and hopefully give them a chance to enjoy their last summer together. However, this is a small price compared to those who have lost their lives and jobs to this epidemic. This virus has hurt many and is not something to take lightly. So let’s make sure others do not have to go through these struggles as well. Soon Protect Our Valley will be posting positive messages to make sure people get through the social distancing. Staying positive is very important!  The best way for us to get through Corona is to stay positive and stick together. A challenge this great will always have its consequences but for the safety of your friends, family and peers make sure you are exhibiting safe precautions. The youth leaders in Protect Our Valley are not doing this for themselves, they are doing it to protect you. Reach out and see how they can help. You’re not alone! Use the hashtag #protectourvalley or contact us via email or Instagram @protectourvalley for questions to learn about COVID-19 and to share your story to the community. 


Edited by Ethan Pyke and Paola Baglietto.

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