Letter: Community is turning the corner; a new road awaits

To the Steamboat Springs community,

Spring is here, bringing with it new life and hope for the future. While this week is notable as the one-year milestone of the pandemic shutdown, I believe its real significance will be seen as the time when we truly started to turn the corner.

Our long, bumpy road may finally be coming to an end, thanks to new treatments, extraordinary scientific advancements and breakthroughs in vaccine development. Combined with our now time-tested techniques of masking, hygiene and social distancing, together we are ready to take a much different road, filled with promise and renewal.

At times, it may have felt like we were traveling alone, but this journey was shared by all of us, resonating in deeply personal ways. As a long-time Steamboat Springs family medicine physician and community member, I witnessed the impact on patients, family and friends during this challenging time. Some of us gained unwanted pounds, others gained fresh strengths and a powerful core of resiliency. Many found their current relationships an unending source of support, while others found meaning in new connections. And we all recognize the almost incalculable number of lives irretrievably lost to COVID-19 and to suicide.

As we enter this new phase, new questions are being asked. Some search for meaning in their recent experience: What new habits did I acquire that I want to continue? What do I want to eliminate? Others seek guidance for re-entry: Is the vaccine right for me? Who can I gather with safely? Do I need to wear a mask outdoors? Indoors? Can I travel safely by plane? Car? Public transportation?

The questions continue but represent a welcome shift from last spring’s anxious queries. All signal readiness to enter this new life.

I strongly encourage you to begin by refocusing on your own health. If you’ve neglected your diet, exercise or mental wellness this past year, there’s no better time than now to check back in with your health care provider. Take care of routine tests and labs you may have understandably delayed, but even more importantly, I hope you take the opportunity to restore — or start — your personal plan for wellness.

Finally, I want to thank every member of our caring community who have generously looked out throughout the pandemic. Our new road awaits, leading to a healthier place for body, mind, spirit and the people we cherish.

Rosanne Iversen, MD

Steamboat Springs Family Medicine

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