Carnes: Don’t encourage the proudly ignorant
With social media photos of Gondola One liftlines snaking their way down Bridge Street and county COVID numbers dropping across the board while snow depths have finally begun climbing thanks to winter’s return (sort of), is it finally time to strip off the masks and start shaking hands and hugging everyone just for the hell of it?
Of course not, don’t be an idiot.
These circulating photos of ridiculously long liftlines serve no purpose other than confirming negative stereotypes of Vail, providing ammunition to those whose life goal is to find fault in anything the town and/or the resort company ever does regardless of the benefit to Happy Valley.
They’re few in number but proudly loud on social media.
Don’t encourage them.
It is, of course, a huge positive that our COVID numbers have been consistently dropping for the last month or so.
Common sense says that the more those in the most vulnerable categories are vaccinated, the fewer positive cases we should have to deal with, but alas, this does not translate into freedom from mask wearing or social distancing at all, at least for a while yet, unfortunately.
This is why I have been surprised of late at the number of businesses, especially restaurants, that appear to be completely ignoring our current 25% capacity regulations set by Eagle County while we are still officially stuck in the “Orange High Risk” level.
Without naming names, some of you know exactly which restaurants I am referring to, which begs the question, do they not realize the longer they ignore protocols the longer all of us have to deal with this crap?
Yes-yes, I know full well some of you are patronizing these businesses specifically because of their lack of compliance, as it probably provides you with a misguided sense of “Muh’ freedums” while patting yourself on the back for being some warped version of a patriot.
But these are the types that are also proudly packing heat while shopping for cupcakes in City Market.
Don’t encourage them.
For almost a year now we have survived the forced captivity of quarantining, the Lysol injections, Clorox drips, using Hydroxychloroquine for anything other than lupus, malaria and rheumatoid arthritis and the disgraced Bill O’Reilly saying the infected were all going to die anyway.
So sure, it’s a shame we still have to deal with the Q-loving, MAGA hat-wearing, Boebert-loving, gun-toting, elitist-hating, domestic-terrorists supporting, mask-refusing dingbats we have around here. Although small in number, they are loudly proud in their delusional ignorance.
Don’t encourage them, it’ll only allow COVID to stick around just that much longer.
As of last weekend it looks like we’re standing on the precipice of moving back to the “Yellow Caution” level, meaning back to 50% occupancy at restaurants and most businesses.
All thanks to the vast majority of Happy Valleyites adapting and making sacrifices to help end this pandemic as quickly as possible, and it is to those I give a personal “Vail Precision Lawn Chair Demonstration Team” official salute for their collective efforts.
Virtually, of course.
Let’s continue encouraging them, but to hell with the rest of ’em.
Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.