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Letter: Full steam ahead

The shutdowns imposed by government leaders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have caused substantial, and in many cases devastating, economic hardship across the country. Businesses, hospitals, communities and individuals alike were forced to navigate a disaster-scenario for which most were unprepared.

As the owner of a health care consulting firm specializing in disaster preparedness and crisis response, I have had a front-row seat to the chaos and the fallout. Although the safety measures imposed were extreme, some were justified in the very first days of the crisis. But the actions weren’t without consequence, and the prolonged lockdown resulted in overwhelming fear, social turmoil and economic losses.

While recent data reveal the economy is beginning to bounce back, the state’s stay-at-home order has caused irreparable damage that cannot be fixed overnight. The recovery has already begun, but it needs to be ramped up.

A recent report from the World Health Organization acknowledges that the likelihood of asymptomatic individuals spreading the coronavirus is small; as a result, it should be relatively easy to isolate the few who have symptoms to protect the many. Furthermore, we now know that children are not vectors to spread the disease. Those who are most vulnerable should be empowered to decide what precautions are best for them, whether that means wearing masks in public or physically distancing. Everyone else should be encouraged to return to their businesses, schools and places of worship, and resume a pre-pandemic norm. 

The evidence is clear: The curve has been flattened. Now, we all need to pitch in to flatten the fear that still exists about the virus and get the Colorado economy back up and running full steam ahead. 

Kelly Victory, M.D.
Steamboat Springs


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