Letter: It’s OK to feel scared | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: It’s OK to feel scared

Now is a time when it’s OK to feel scared or sad and to say so is not weakness or fear mongering. I don’t know what it’s like to die and don’t care to find out anytime soon, but I know how much it hurts when you lose someone you care about.

Whether it’s a parent, a grandparent, a friend, a co-worker or a pet, death is a gut punch that cuts to the core. Economic loss isn’t better. Losing your job, your house, watching your savings shrink, worry about how you’re going to take care of yourself or your family — misery.

Memories of the great recession are still fresh enough that many people ask if we’re really going to go through that again. I hope not, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t very concerned. Coronavirus is a double whammy with fear of sickness and death one concern and how we’re going to pay our bills another.

The human cost of the virus became real for me when I heard about the first coronavirus death in Vail, Rod Powell. My first taste of ski town life was as a busboy in Vail at Pepi’s in the winter of 1990-91. Rod was a local fixture in Vail for decades who played guitar and sang during apres ski at Pepi’s and other haunts. He could get a crowd going and make people happy singing along at the top of their lungs to “Amie” or “Drift Away” or countless others.

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Through music, Rod brought joy to countless people. A bunch of us were in Pepi’s the night Saddam invaded Kuwait, my first inkling of war, pretty remote in a far off place but a harbinger of things to come. My friend Mike was scared to death. A pilot who’d just gotten out of the Navy, Mike knew he’d be called back up before the winter was through.

Mike survived and has thrived, and I’m sure most of us will get through the coronavirus, and someday, we’ll look back and remember it as a difficult poignant time in our lives. But some won’t.

Now is a good time to reach out to people you care about and let them know you care. It’s a good time to go the extra mile for someone who needs help. And it’s a time that it’s OK to feel scared. RIP Rod Powell.

Chris Wittemyer
Steamboat Springs


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