People enjoy outdoor dining in New York, the US, November 21 2020. Picture: REUTERS/JEENAH MOON
People enjoy outdoor dining in New York, the US, November 21 2020. Picture: REUTERS/JEENAH MOON

Many of us have got lax; lulled into a false sense of security by consistently low transmission rates of the coronavirus in communities and a president and vice-president who assured Americans there would be no second wave of Covid-19 breaking upon the shores of our hospital system.

Yet a few days from Thanksgiving there are 1,378 people in Colorado’s hospitals seeking treatment for severe Covid-19 symptoms and an additional 165 seeking hospital care while waiting for their test results. The trajectory for hospital admissions looks dire unless something changes drastically.

Now Colorado’s restaurant owners and workers will pay the price by being forced to close to all but takeout business. Students will pay the price as even classes for the youngest learners transition to online. Families will pay the price, with the prospect of large Thanksgiving gatherings becoming unsafe and actually illegal under the orders implemented in 15 Colorado counties.

It is the height of malfeasance that Congress and the president have failed to pass another round of emergency aid headed into the winter months. This shutdown right before Christmas will be ruinous for Colorado’s entrepreneurs, who may lose their businesses and hard-working families who may find themselves unemployed.

Citizens are torn between being grateful for Colorado governor Jared Polis’s efforts to fill the gap where Congress has failed — in comparison to the gross negligence exercised by the governors in North Dakota and South Dakota — but also wanting a far more cohesive message than what was presented to the public as all of these plans were rolled out.

It was not immediately clear which counties were included in the more drastic changes, or how restaurants and other small businesses would be affected.

For example, on Wednesday ski areas in Summit County were anxiously waiting to be told whether they would have to close under the order. And while retail businesses are limited to 50% capacity, restaurants are reduced to zero.

Clearer messaging is needed, and quicker action to stave off the effects of these orders so everyone in Colorado can increase their efforts to slow the spread of the virus. /Denver, November 19

Denver Post

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