Letter to the Editor: Dear Friends and Neighbors!


Dear Friends and Neighbors!



I look forward to the cool evening and early morning hours to get outside. My salsa garden is thriving. Lately I have been camping out by my air conditioner during the day while I work with partners virtually who are also focusing on solutions to COVID. Of course, not all the work can be done virtually.

There are many differing opinions regarding COVID. There are virus specialists, scientists, practitioners, environmental health specialists, public health agencies, governing bodies from around the world, religious zealots, innovative religious leaders, corporate donors and opportunists, immunity and vaccination theorists and people just wanting to stay abreast of all we are learning in order to protect their family and friends.

Recently I came across an application that puts you in the drivers’ seat with modeling COVID outcomes with various behaviors you can alter as you go. You can increase or lower the number of people wearing masks. You can increase or decrease social distancing. You can increase or decrease social gatherings. This tool allows you to see the outcome in a couple of weeks, perhaps in the coming months. Check it out: https://cucovid19.shinyapps.io/colorado/. It may be useful to you in your workplace or inform your personal decision-making paradigms.

Steeped in studies and tracking how the virus moves about the world, I am reminded of the power of the individual. Your decisions will have a profound effect on your family, your workplace, your community. My focus has been to learn and contribute as much as I can to keep your family intact as well as mine.

Fortunately, we have incredible partners such as Lamar Community College who has contributed hours of support from the Innovate & Make Space. What a resource!

Our emergency managers, EMS and hospital personnel continue to serve us in dire times. Are we doing all we can to support their efforts and not bury them? We have incredible public health leaders in our Southeast Region who we rely on for so many functions. I hope we do not lose them to battle fatigue as they courageously implement what they know will bring further options and opportunities to function amid COVID. We can create unique solutions that make SE Colorado shine. Are we willing to compromise to realize them?

As we approach summer and fall activities I continue to work (with Governor Polis’s support) in providing face coverings to students, teachers, assisted living and treatment centers and other vulnerable populations. I look forward to hearing ideas that students, teachers, and administrators have regarding opening schools safely. How can we support their vision? What ideas can we glean from Australia, Asia, Europe, and South America?

Respectfully yours,

Kris Stokke
dba SE Region Generalist

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