PI Editorial: Sustaining hope sustains ourselves

Post Independent Editorial Board

It’ll soon be two years since the pandemic began, and for some of us, this most recent wave of omicron cases has felt like a slog.

As cases trend downward, it’s our hope that we’ll soon be on the other side of this wave and closer to where we were this fall with events, tourism and more kicking into full gear.

In the meantime, we should try to keep ourselves grounded as best we can and realize there is still much to celebrate and be grateful for in Garfield County — including having so many athletes from our area who participated in this year’s X Games, many of whom will be joining other Coloradans for the Winter Olympics in China.

Our closest Olympians live just upvalley in Basalt: Hailey Swirbul was officially named to the U.S. cross-country ski team on Thursday and will be heading to China in just a couple weeks, as will U.S. freestyle skier Hanna Faulhaber. Many more hail from Aspen, Steamboat Springs, Vail and throughout Colorado.

This year, the Olympics are more than just an opportunity to see the world’s greatest athletes compete against each other. There’s also the shared challenges and trials athletes and spectators alike have following the years-long pandemic. Watching them persevere, and merely getting to the Olympics during a pandemic is an exercise of perseverance in and of itself, can both inspire and connect us with one another.

There’s more to look forward to after the Olympics as well, especially with summer just around the corner. It might not feel like it in January, but we’ll soon be back to warmer days and green grass. This coming season we’re particularly looking forward to the 125th Strawberry Days festivities. In addition to being a milestone anniversary, Strawberry Days this year will take place in Two Rivers Park, offering even more room for people to celebrate one of our community’s marquee events.

It will be the first Strawberry Days since the pandemic began, and should offer locals and visitors alike a chance to come together and enjoy live music, art, family activities and more. That’s an incredibly wonderful milestone for all of us.

Our final bit of positive news is the most important of all: Our teachers, support staff and so many more doing everything they can to help keep as many children in the classroom as possible throughout the omicron wave. While there have been instances of classes and groups temporarily going to remote instruction, we’d encourage any parent to go through their email to fall 2020 and see just how frequent and how often quarantine and remote instruction was compared to now.

This is incredibly important context that we shouldn’t lose in our current moment.

Health care workers and educators in particular have carried so much for society through the entire pandemic, and our thanks here is a drop in the bucket of the gratitude they deserve. It’s truly the least we can do, but moving forward, the better thing we can do is to ask ourselves as a community what we can do to help and support those critical members of our community so they can continue to do good work and take care of us and our children for years to come. It’s not too early to start seeking answers to those questions.

The Post Independent editorial board members are Editor Peter Baumann, Managing Editor/Senior Reporter John Stroud, and community representatives Mark Fishbein and Danielle Becker.

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