Carnes: Everything changes now … or not | VailDaily.com
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Carnes: Everything changes now … or not

If all goes well, with “well” being quite the subjective term, this week we are transitioning from a county in the “blue square” phase to a new and improved “black diamond” phase.

Sounds impressive, don’t it?

Like an average skier suddenly believing they are ready to transition from Simba to Prima thanks to the liquid courage they consumed for lunch at the 10th, this could prove disastrous for some but relatively meaningless for others.

As of Sunday night the requested variance for this transition had not been approved by the state, but they approved the last variance a few weeks ago, and we’ve been able to keep new infections to a minimum for a while now. Granted, we achieved this by following the ImPotus mantra of slowing down the testing in order to have fewer results, but that’s not the point.

Relax, I’m only kidding.

Either way, the odds of state approval are better than Redneck Randy waving his favorite confederate flag at last weekend’s NASCAR race in Alabama (which ended up being cancelled because of all the flags, or maybe it was the rain, I didn’t really pay attention).

I am honestly shocked at the busloads of tourists arriving in our little valley over the last week, as — shock and surprise — it appears we offer something they can’t get at home, namely a low infection rate and the ability to drink somewhat freely at bars and restaurants.

Or perhaps it’s the mountains with all the fresh clean air and stuff, who knows.

But the fact is they’re here, and with both mountains scheduled to open next week, albeit with limited services, there will be 10 times the mask-free faces and unsocial distancing that showed up last Saturday in Tulsa, and none of them will actually arrive via bus, as I-70 traffic will confirm.

Going through the village on Father’s Day, I’d say about 25% were wearing masks, with another 25% hanging the mask around their neck or carrying it in their hands, leaving about half not bothering at all.

Social distancing was basically non-existent.

Luckily, I don’t think any of them are the type to start demanding we make changes around here to better reflect the cultural alterations occurring in other parts of the nation.

One can only imagine the hell we’d go through if the model for the 10th Mountain Division Memorial statue at the Covered Bridge was a closet KKK member, or if someone was offended that the “Uplift” sculpture in Lionshead has no female skiers.

And Pirateship Park? Are we promoting cutthroat thieves involved in smuggling and slave trades, or is it simply a harmless play area for kids? Are all races represented in the Children’s Fountain? It’s hard to tell when they’re all in bronze.

Hey, it’s still called Vilar up in Beaver Creek, and that one bothers the hell out of me, but I’m not going to make a federal issue out of it.

So I suppose this “black diamond” phase won’t change much, but will allow us to return to some semblance of normalcy, whatever that means.


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