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Inside the Chamber: United to Stop the Spread


I have searched far and wide for some parallel to this experience that doesn’t need much description except “2020.” Though this “game” has no playbook, the closest similarity I can find is team sports. On a soccer field, I learned numerous lessons about training, strategy and working hard. The most valuable lesson, though, is the importance of teamwork. Every person on the team plays an important role in the overall game. Together, the team can achieve greatness.

Our team, the community, is composed of individuals, schools, businesses, hospitals, front-line workers and many others. Together, we have been playing against the opponent, COVID-19, for almost 10 months now. Though the game started out rough, our team worked together, strategized and scored some goals. We were feeling positive, but then the global pandemic recently pulled fresh players from the sidelines including the well-rested cold and flu season and the inevitable change in weather. As COVID-19 gains, the team is tired, frustrated and feeling defeated.

I can recall a soccer game that presented rather similar circumstances. The opponent was stronger, faster and had a far deeper roster than ours. Needless to say, in spite of our best initial efforts, they were crushing us. As we walked off the field at halftime ready to give up, Coach Tom would begin one of his famous, inspiring half-time speeches. He would talk about how we are a team that works hard, plays hard and leaves everything on the field. As a team, our main focus needed to be working together, united towards a singular goal.



Following this, Coach Scott would lay out the strategy. Specific and simplistic, our focus on the basics like clean short passes, staying open for your teammates and strong defense was essential. These are all things we would practice every day, but as the team fatigued, these important tactics often fell to the wayside.

Our team got back on the field, refreshed and refocused. We worked together, we played hard, we focused on basics, we did not give up, and guess what? We won the game.



The fight against this pandemic is much more complicated than a soccer game, but we can approach it in a very similar way. Our team, the community, can win if we focus on the why first. We are doing it for each other, for our schools, for our businesses, for our hospitals, for our front-line workers and others. We are doing it to keep our community safe, healthy and open.

With the why in mind, our team must work together and apply the same basic fact based strategies that we have been practicing for the last 10 months which are: wear a mask in public places, maintain social distancing, avoid large gatherings, wash hands frequently and stay home when sick.

Our community team is coming together in a nonpartisan, grassroots effort called United to Stop the Spread. This is a collaborative, county-wide initiative aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 to keep our valleys safe and open. It will take all of us doing our part to make this happen. Together, the team can achieve greatness. Learn more and join the effort at unitedtostopthespread.com.

Angie Anderson is president and CEO of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.


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