Our View: Let’s not go backward
In a valley full of superb skiers and snowboarders, you’re not going to find a lot of people who want to ski greens all day, every day. But, going off the “Transition Trail Map” that outlines Eagle County’s latest public health order, we can’t, as a community, level up to the blue phase or the black diamond phase of our economic recovery if we don’t take this beginner phase seriously.
It’s a very real possibility, after all the hard work we’ve done keeping our distance from one another, and hunkering down, that we could go right back to the severe restrictions that were put in place after Eagle County emerged as one of the country’s hottest spots in early March.
We have, just like Gov. Jared Polis said last week, gotten our act together here in Eagle County.
Flatten the curve? According to Will Cook, the CEO of Vail Health, we prevented it entirely.
Last Thursday, when Eagle County became the first in the state to receive exemptions from the governor’s stringent stay-at-home order, Cook told Polis that the hospital didn’t have a single COVID-19 patient in its care. Vail Health hasn’t had a patient on a ventilator since March 27.
So, yeah, there’s a reason for optimism. There was nothing wrong with a little virtual backslapping in that official ceremony with Polis and county officials, considering how far we’ve come.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We may be beyond our peak, so to speak, according to the county’s data, but we’re nowhere near out of the woods yet.
On Monday, the governor said letting down our guard now, as a state, would only put us right back where we were.
“Our gains will be lost,” Polis said. “This great sacrifice that Coloradans have made will have been for nothing if we can’t continue and maintain the social distancing needed.”
So, yes, you can now go get a haircut, or get your nails done, or hit some golf balls — but that doesn’t mean you can start slacking off.
You still need to wear your mask every time you’re out in public and keep 6 feet of social distance. You still need to keep washing those hands. And if you’re a business owner who is reopening, you and your staff need to follow the outlined social distancing protocols in place to the letter. No excuses.
Also, if you’re sick, stay home — and get tested immediately if you have symptoms.
Lastly, and this is a hard one, but you’ve got to tell your friends and relatives who want to visit that they’ve got to stay away. No weekend trips to the mountains. Eagle County has reopened — just a little — to those of us who live here, and to those who own a home here, but it’s still closed to everyone else.
We’re all in this together, and the only way we’re going to progress as a county — and as a state — is if we remain vigilant in this fight. That means doing your part.
That way, hopefully, we can advance to some better terrain in the weeks and months to come.
The Vail Daily Editorial Board is Publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Nate Peterson, Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart, Advertising Director Holli Snyder, Digital Engagement Editor Sean Naylor, Business Editor Scott Miller and Eagle Valley Enterprise Editor Pam Boyd.
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