Let’s try to be clear on some key truths about our current coronavirus situation:
Over the past three months you’ve heard from the Gunnison County Metropolitan Recreation District (Met Rec) about why we were formed, how our mission has evolved, Met Rec’s successful de-brucing, and what we’re doing to support recreation. This month, to conclude our four-part series, we want to share what we’re doing to improve television services.
What would the Gunnison Valley be like without the Gunnison River and its many tributaries? Simply stated, it would not exist. This is true geologically, of course, but the Gunnison River and its tributaries have also sustained life and many livelihoods in our community for over 150 years. This leads to the next question: will the water supply from the Gunnison River be sufficient to sustain current uses given projected population growth, warming temperatures trends, and unpredictable future hydrology happening within our valley, our state, and the greater Colorado River Basin into mid-century and beyond?
As a lifelong student, I think it’s important to always make oneself available for new learning opportunities. Since I retired, I’ve had a number of experiences — new, old, positive, not so good — and learned from all of them. Over the past few weeks, however, I have had a life experience that has been completely unique, and one I hope never to repeat. Fevers. Hallucinations. The dreaded hospital bed. Ventilator. Daily shots to the stomach. Other things unfit for sharing in a community newspaper.
When I recall the moment last October when Issa and I turned our motorhome, Flo, eastward on Highway 50, to pursue our dream of creating a storytelling podcast among the people and places of America’s great flyover country, it feels like I’m looking way back in history to an era already long gone. Or maybe as if we’ve glitched to an alternate reality that makes looking back like trying to remember an elusive dream.
A century ago, our community dealt with the Spanish Flu Pandemic by following the recommendations of doctors and public health officials. Today, I know and trust our Public Health Professionals. The City of Gunnison will continue to follow the Public Health Order until they determine the danger is over. The survival of the most vulnerable in our valley depends upon our compliance.
Gunnison County is facing its most severe health and economic crisis of the last 100 years. Without significant assistance, many local businesses will fail. Shops on our main streets will be boarded up, unemployment will soar, the local economy will be depressed for years and our communities will begin to die. A very rough estimate that I did indicates that income in the County is declining by $5 million to $20 million per month.