Roberts: Silver linings and thank yous
The news is filled with uncertainty and challenging new realities, so in this month’s column, I want to focus on some of the bright spots in our community as we work our way through this. It really only takes two words: thank you.
Thank you to every single one of you for taking COVID-19 seriously to protect yourself, your family, and our community as a whole. The sacrifices you all are making during this time are immense and challenging — but they are important. I thank you and salute you for your service to our community, state, and country for doing your part. There is evidence this is working, so let’s keep it up!
A gigantic and continuous thank you is owed to our health care providers and medical staff. You are facing this pandemic head-on to help others and save lives. Thank you to our physicians, nurses, medical staff and everyone else serving on the front lines. Such selfless sacrifice is impossible to do justice in writing, but I want you to know that we are eternally grateful to you for providing expertise, quality care, and compassion to your patients.
Thank you to every person that is not able to stay home and continues to do their job to keep our communities healthy and safe. These are our grocery store workers, nursing home aides, law enforcement officers, gas station attendants, garbage collectors, firefighters, utility workers, and so many others. You all make it possible for us to maintain some semblance of typical life throughout this pandemic and keep our communities safe.
Thank you to our teachers, school staff, and parents. Eagle County Schools has been working together around the clock to provide equitable access to online learning, school lunches, and at-home childcare for those families who are a part of our essential workforce. We are thankful for our teachers and staff working hard to ensure that our kids can keep up with their schooling no matter what.
Thank you to our businesses and employees. There is no way around the fact that this is an unbearably difficult time for businesses and their employees, or former employees. Some of the hardest calls and emails I have received have been from business owners who know that a federal government loan will not be enough, or from people who have lost their job and cannot make rent. Thank you for reaching out to me and asking for help. I appreciate your understanding that while we may not have all of the answers and resources currently, our elected officials at all levels are working tirelessly with local groups like the Vail Valley Partnership and the Colorado Office of Economic Development to get you access to resources and devise solutions so we can all get through this together.
Thank you for all the organic acts of kindness that we keep seeing. Throughout my time serving as your state representative, the kind nature of our community has always made me proud to live in and serve Eagle County, and the way our community has shone during this crisis is no exception.
Just to name a few: to community members like Mackenzie Koffenberger, who started a thank you donation box for staffers at the Avon City Market, thank you. To Vail Health for its creativity creating sewing stations to make masks for medical workers — thank you. To the individuals who left groceries outside of Eagle’s Castle Peak Senior Center residents’ doors and to the folks that put a sign up on the lawn for us all to “keep smiling!” — thank you. These acts of kindness and reminders to stay positive are imperative to maintaining the health of our communities in these tumultuous times.
Thank you to our local government officials. I am grateful for our Eagle County and town officials who are doing everything they can to strategize solutions so we can emerge stronger as a community than before. From the creation of large relief funds for businesses and individuals at a county and town level, to diligently working to educate the public and respond to our needs, your dedication to public service is innovative and valued. It is an honor to serve with you.
As we wade through these unknown waters working as a team to navigate the consequences of this pandemic, there have been both struggles and triumphs, innovations and stagnations, dark clouds but also silver linings. I know this will get harder before it gets easier, but I feel comforted in knowing each and every one of us is putting our best foot forward to take care of each other. The vitality of our Eagle County community stands strong. We will get through this together even while we are physically apart.
I continue to be here to help. If you have a question, need help contacting a state agency, or anything else, please contact me at Dylan.Roberts.House@state.co.us or on my cell: (970) 846-3054.