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Mayor Pro Tem Speaks on COVID-19 and the Shared Sacrifice that Has Slowed the Spread

It has been nearly three weeks since Governor Polis issued Colorado’s stay-at-home order. In some ways, the last few weeks have felt to me like we have been living in an episode of the Twilight Zone. So many of the things we take for granted have changed: grocery shopping, visiting with friends, an influx of visitors that typically picks up about this time of year.

Touber Building where Salida City Council meetings are held (Photo by Taylor Sumners)

Living through major change can be really difficult, and that is exactly what we are experiencing as a community. With several weeks under our belts of strong social distancing measures, it is normal that we are all growing weary with the restrictions on our activities and movement. The daily ritual of howling at the moon at 8pm is a collective indication of our sadness and frustration, as well as our appreciation of those on the front lines.

However, I want to take some time to reflect on how our shared sacrifices are helping to slow down the spread of Covid-19.

  • Signs are emerging that our efforts to stay at home are working in preventing community spread. Our hospital has not become overwhelmed and our cases have not spiraled out of control. That said, we are all concerned about the outbreak at Columbine Manor, and the very real possibility of further outbreaks within the community. We grieve for those who have been taken from us due to this illness and stand beside their friends and families. We cannot afford more lives lost in our town or county, so we need to remain vigilant about each of our responsibility in following the current orders.
  • One of the aspects I most appreciate about living in a small community is the opportunity to really get to know neighbors and fellow residents. This connection is the glue that binds us together. We are neither nameless nor faceless like we might be if we lived in a big city.  As a result, the spirit of compassion and coming together is much stronger in Salida.
  • Given the small-town nature of Salida virtually everyone who lives here knows a hospital worker, a first responder, a grocery store employee, or someone with a compromised immune or respiratory system.While it is perfectly natural to chafe under the restrictions we are being asked to live under, I would challenge everyone to think about the people most at risk when we are frustrated with our current circumstances.  Perhaps it is a family worker, friend, coworker, or neighbor.  We owe it to them to do everything in our power to keep them safe!
  • It’s important to remember the incredible amount of resources that the city and county are bringing to bear to address the challenges we face. The county’s public health staff has been working tirelessly to keep us informed and safe.  The city has offered up to $25,000 in matching funds to the Chaffee County Community Foundation’s Economic Relief Fund.  That fund, by the way, has grown to over $282,000, which speaks volumes to how much this community cares!
  • In addition to the community’s response, we should take a moment to applaud the massive contribution from the Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center. HRRMC and its employees have really stepped up in the face of putting themselves in harm’s way. The courage and commitment demonstrated by these people is inspirational. I am in awe of what they do every day knowing full well that in doing so they run the risk of getting the virus.

I share all this in the hopes that it will help us stay strong and focused on the end goal.  If we continue to work together we increase the likelihood that we can go back to so many of the things we took for granted sooner. We can do a better job of protecting the most vulnerable amongst us.  We can more effectively support our front-line heroes who are helping keep the community safe.  Best of all, we will be able to emerge from this self-isolation and embrace all the things we love about our town.


Mayor Pro Tem Shore


For more information, please contact City Hall at 719-539-4555.