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Opinion: Thank you for taking COVID-19 seriously


Dylan Roberts
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
Dylan Roberts is the state representative for Colorado House District 26.
Courtesy photo

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 healthcare 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 frontlines. 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 jobs 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. School districts across Routt County have been working together 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 to 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 Steamboat Springs Chamber and the Colorado Office of Economic Development, to access more resources and solutions to make it through this. 

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 serve Routt County, and the way our community has shone during this time is no exception.

Just to name a few: to community members like Irene Avitia of the Latinx Network who has been helping our community make sense of all of the news and updates regarding the pandemic, thank you. To the Dear Park Road Corp., which has pledged $400,000 to help affected Routt County residents, thank you. To the LiftUp of Routt County food bank, which has been working tirelessly to meet the increasing demand for food assistance, thank you.

To the Routt County’s Council on Aging, thank you for forming a phone connection tree to ensure our seniors feel connected to the community in these times of distance. And finally to the nightly sing-a-long participants, you continue to put Steamboat on the national and global map with such amazing positivity.

Thank you to our Routt County and local officials who are doing everything they can to strategize solutions so we can emerge stronger as a community than before. Thank you to our commissioners, city councilors and all the staff of our city and county departments and other agencies for diligently working to educate the public and respond to our needs; your dedication to public service is innovative and valued.

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 Routt 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 970-846-3054.

Rep. Dylan Roberts represents Colorado House District 26, encompassing Eagle and Routt counties


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