Dear Friends and Neighbors!


Today I am thinking of you and your family. Going back to school is always an exciting time when our kids are growing. New school supplies. New classes, friends, and teachers. New opportunities to learn.

Our schools and public health leaders are busy with planning amid COVID to be sure safety is in place for teachers and students. That requires a lot of coordination and support from parents and the community. We have been contacting schools and getting masks to them for students and teachers. We have provided over 4,800 masks for non-medical organizations such as schools in our region.

As things open around the state, we have seen an increase in COVID cases. The best way to minimize the impact of COVID on your family is to keep a safe distance from others, wear a mask, and avoid large gatherings. The way to keep business open is to keep cases down by wearing a mask and avoid large gatherings.

Local leaders are also doing what they can to provide and improve testing capabilities. Thanks to our hospitals, clinics, and public health agencies we will continue to provide testing, case and contact tracing and quarantine to minimize the spread. Our governor is improving testing for COVID by bringing together additional state partners such as Children’s Hospital, National Jewish, Mako Medical and Curative Inc.

Recreating our workplaces, careers, or accepting lifestyle changes that we had not anticipated can sometimes be heart wrenching, frustrating or hilarious. Economic challenges may require us to consider multi-generational living when we are used to living independently.

I have been to two virtual funerals due to COVID and found the funeral homes to be innovative and incredibly supportive. I got an odd feeling of being a voyeur as I supported friends in Montana and California grappling with abrupt loss of our loved ones. Today a friend of mine in Lamar is saying goodbye (virtually) to his brother in CA who has been on a ventilator for a long time.

As I have said previously, pandemics are generally two-year events. We are six months into this event. Many of us have had to alter life as we know it. And as we progress, the opportunities to embrace change will continue. Sometimes I am spitting tacks, and other times inspired by people inventing clear masks for people who need to read lips to hear.

Daily I am reminded of the resiliency of people here in Southeast Colorado. You continue to inspire me and I feel grateful to be here. I have laughed, cried, and shared challenges with many of you. Recently, while out for a walk, I ran into an old friend I had not seen for some time. He looked at me and said, “what happened to you?”. There is a new version of me, and I am guessing it is not an improvement!

Nature sustains and how lucky we are to have the rain and wonderful trails and dirt roads to get away from the grind. Take care and get out to enjoy it when you can.

Yours truly,

Kris Stokke
dba SE Region Generalist

Filed Under: Letters to the Editor

About the Author: