Letter: Please, shelter in place Yampa Valley
My family and I have lived and worked in the Yampa Valley for the last five years. We love our friends and our church, our neighbors, our librarians, our ski coaches, our grocery store checkers and baggers, our Starbucks barista and Scottie at downtown Conoco.
As a family doctor, I see possible COVID-19 cases every day. We have evidence that COVID-19 is in our community now. All of the data shows that this infection is and will continue spreading like crazy.
Recent evidence shows that severe interventions, such as sheltering in place, are the only way we can truly “flatten the curve” and stop the spread of COVID-19. The death toll in the U.S. has doubled in the last two days and will continue to grow at this rate if new interventions do not occur.
Sheltering in place means staying home and leaving it only for critical activities, such as grocery shopping and going to the doctor. It means socializing using social media and technology (such as Skype) and not in person. It means having no playdates … and trust me, I have two children, and I know the tragedy of having no playdates.
It means nonessential businesses should be closed, and nonessential workers should be home. My family has already been sheltering in place for the last week out of the love we have for our community. I urge our community, state and nation to do the same out of the true love you have for others.
I recognize that the economic and social disruption of such measures will be severe, but the death of tens to hundreds of community members, thousands of Coloradans and hundreds of thousands of Americans will be just as disruptive. Please, Yampa Valley, stay home and stop the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19 in our community.
Barbara Novotny, MD
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