Wednesday letters: Minimizing spread of Covid-19, Trump’s reprehensible behavior, free ourselves from meat industry

Carbondale mayor: We can’t be complacent in steps to minimize spread of COVID-19

 Editor’s note: An exception was made for the length of this letter.

Dear Carbondale community,

As we enter the Fourth of July Holiday weekend, we each must acknowledge the sobering reality that COVID-19 is on the rise in our community. It’s critical we stay alert and don’t become complacent about the public health practices that have proven to be so successful at keeping our community safe.

COVID-19 is not going away: Locally in Carbondale, COVID-19 is on the rise. We see it in our daily numbers. At the time of writing, Carbondale has had 63 residents test positive for COVID-19; Garfield County has 287 cases. 
What does that mean for reopening? If this upward trend continues, it means everyone is at a greater health risk, our healthcare facilities may be over-burdened and Garfield County’s variance that allows greater local control of health orders will be revoked. Nothing resulting from this trend is good for our local businesses that are already struggling.

What should the community do about this? Given this risk, it’s more critical than ever to play your part in stopping the community spread of COVID-19. Wear your face-covering or mask inside public spaces (it’s the law in Carbondale), wash your hands or use hand sanitizer whenever you can, ensure you social distance — stay six feet apart — when around other people, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home if you are sick.
Modify your behavior this holiday weekend: Rethink any plans to be around other people — this may be a good weekend to limit contact with others. If you are going to be around other people — at a barbeque or camping with a small group, insist that everyone is following commonsense health guidelines: mask-on, maintaining social distancing, and frequently washing hands.

If you are in close contact with someone who has tested positive: You must self-quarantine immediately, for 14 days, and ensure you are symptom-free for 72 hours before you end quarantine.

Asymptomatic means that COVID-19 can be invisible in the community: This means the symptoms can be invisible, and the spread is harder to contain. This means wearing a face covering and taking all the public health precautions we can is really important.

Remind your kids of these safe behaviors: Local and national outbreaks among young people have been on the rise, and we’ve seen this locally in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Living with COVID-19 in our community is the new normal: As we know COVID-19 is spreading, we must all remain diligent and watch for symptoms of COVID-19: these include fatigue, fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath.

We ask you to Love Local: While we must live with this new reality, we also must forge ahead with safe practices to reopen our town’s small businesses and boost the local economy. We ask you to Love Local; consider shopping locally, and to protect our neighbors by always following public health guidelines. If you aren’t comfortable dining inside – get take-out. If you want to gather with friends and family – bring take-out to an outdoor BBQ or camping or try a virtual happy hour! Looking for a gift – consider a local gift certificate.

We will emerge from this crisis stronger than when we entered it — together. We are Carbondale Strong.

Dan Richardson
Mayor of Carbondale

Past time to call Trump out on this reprehensible conduct

The level of disrespect, immaturity and indifference being exhibited by our president and some of his followers is incomprehensible. Insults, taunts, attacks and lawsuits against those he sees as enemies or adversaries has been his M.O. forever. It’s past time for the majority of us to call him out on this reprehensible conduct. Most of the Republican politicians have shown that they are afraid of him. Every time he uses his “sleepy Joe” insult, the response needs to be; “we have the equivalent of a third grader in the White House.” And his seeming lack of compassion and empathy is in plain view.

He has undermined the critical use of face masks by not using nor incentivizing their use which has exacerbated this public health crisis. Many now view their use as a political issue instead of a way to protect and respect our fellow citizens. By promoting and carrying out his two rallies last week, he has shown, clearly, how he is not concerned about protecting even his own base from a dangerous virus, only about his reelection. Prior to the event, the CDC (which Trump has now muffled to a degree) declared that large, in person, gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain six feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area are of the highest risk. And most of his followers who attended the events, by not wearing masks, were showing no concern for those around them and multiplying the risks.

But, with the recent outpouring of love and caring emanating from around the country, hopefully we are headed in a new direction.

Jerry Krebs,
Glenwood Springs

Let’s declare our independence from meat industry

COVID-19 heralds some good news for this Independence Day. We won’t be facing heavy traffic. And, the scarcity of meat will keep our outdoor grills safe.

Folks who grill hamburgers and hot dogs face a nasty choice. The U.S. Meat and Poultry Hotline advises grilling at high temperature to avoid food poisoning by E. coli and salmonella bacteria. But the National Cancer Institute warns that high-temperature grilling of processed meats generates cancer-causing compounds.

Fortunately, we no longer need to choose between food poisoning and cancer!

A bunch of enterprising U.S. food processors have met this challenge head-on by developing a rich variety of convenient, healthful, delicious plant-based veggie burgers, veggie dogs, and soy nuggets. These products don’t harbor nasty bugs or cancer-causing compounds. They are missing the cholesterol, saturated fats, drugs, hormones and pesticides of their animal-based alternatives. And, they are waiting for us in the frozen food section of our favorite supermarket, along with nut-based ice creams, and other dairy-free desserts.

On this Independence Day, let’s declare our independence from the meat industry, which exposes its workers to coronavirus infection. And, let’s stay away from both the coronavirus and the barbecue bugs!

Filipe Santana,
Glenwood Springs

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