Letter: Civil disobedience, COVID-19 and thriving as a community | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Civil disobedience, COVID-19 and thriving as a community

Today (Saturday), I was gladdened and all at once disheartened by the sight on our courthouse lawn. Throughout the last year, our governments at the national, state and local levels have stumbled to adapt to a new, challenging and disruptive environment and are once again stumbling to find the right answer.

However, we learned huge lessons about living and figuring out how to survive, or hopefully thrive, in the newest major challenge to hit the last few generations. We have learned a mountain of information on how this virus thrives and can rip through communities.

We have found varying levels of personal protective equipment can make a difference. We have learned that a cloth mask can reduce the range and the spreadability of the virus. I did say reduce, not stop. A mask is a risk reducer much like wearing my ski helmet. Through these trying times, our community has shown an abundance of what we honor our forebearers for adaptability, resiliency and grit.

The current restrictions are inconsistent across the industries and do not allow businesses to practice the lessons on living with the virus. When I saw people organized, practicing their First Amendment to enact change, I was immediately excited and proud. However, my initial excitement was quickly dampened when I noticed that roughly one in 10 in the group were wearing masks.

We cannot ask for more responsibility at the individual level if we do not demonstrate the same with our actions. The restrictions are in place to increase our safety while living with COVID-19, i.e. wearing masks. However, restrictions to businesses that are inconsistent and lack a sustainable compromise are not.

We know from experience restrictions will not stop the virus from being a clear and present danger. If we are to argue to the state and the county that our community can thrive in the COVID environment, without government intervention, then we must demonstrate it with our actions.

Please keep demonstrating and do it as safely as possible. Make no room for people to accuse your actions as reckless to the community and discredit your voice. Mask up, and get out there. Use your actions to say, “I choose to thrive through this crisis, and restrictions must be modified if we are to survive as the community we all love.”

Bjorn Utu

Steamboat Springs

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