As the COVID-19 virus continues to rage in many cities across America, we are fortunate in our particular situation. Aside from being a home business we have good local government. Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat who is exceptionally keen on science and public service, has stayed on top of the crisis since the beginning. He put Colorado on lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic as early as March 25.
After a small uptick in cases recently, particularly in Boulder, a college town, Polis called for a more public spirited fight against the spread of the virus. “We need to be more responsible,” Polis said July 9 at a news conference at the governor’s mansion in Denver. “We need to wear masks more. We need to avoid gatherings more.”
Polis predicted this will be “the summer of no parties” as he encouraged people — younger Coloradans, in particular — to gather only in small groups or not at all. “We need to make changes in the way we live.”
At the time of this writing, COVID-19 has infected 3.68 million Americans, of whom over a million have recovered and 141,000 died. U.S. coronavirus cases hit new single-day highs around the July Fourth weekend. A country with only 4% of the world’s population now accounts for over one-fourth of deaths from the virus.
Colorado has one of the lowest rates of infection and mortality. Notwithstanding this, it is rare in our experience to catch sight of anyone in public not wearing a mask. Coloradans also have great access to parks, hiking and outdoor exercise. If you’re going to have to wait out the pandemic, the Front Range is one of the best locations. It’s a modern day version of the idyllic Tuscan Hills outside Florence where Boccaccio and his comrades spun the timeless stories of the Decameron during the Black Death.
Bubonic plague killed one-half of the inhabitants of Europe in the fourteenth century. It was the greatest catastrophe ever and many people blamed it on God and lost their faith. But the crisis brought about numerous positive changes. One of those was the efflorescence of beauty and wisdom we call the Italian Renaissance.
Let us hope that when (not if) we emerge from this most recent challenge we will have a new appreciation and sense of gratitude for what it means to be human.
We are indeed all in this together.