New Reality – New Behavior

Plans for ending shelter in place are moving forward. Counties, cities, and states have announced new rules for public engagement with the goal of allowing people greater freedom of movement, small group gathering, and the resumption of services and retail business. The most restrictive plans are detailed by organization and require that people follow particular guidelines for reopening service and business. The variety of approaches are varied and sometimes difficult to follow but some news sources are trying to maintain updated status for all the 50 states.

Here in Colorado our governor has announced a second stage strategy for increasing movement while trying to keep the lid on Covid-19 infection. In his afternoon press conference today (April 27) he repeatedly said, “if we as a state slack off on social distancing measures and other ways to prevent the spread of the virus, additional restrictions could come back. It is up to us to keep moving towards fewer restrictions.” This warning is the governor’s attempt to motivate Coloradan’s even as experts are short on testing data; a shortage of information regarding infection of asymptomatic individuals (infected but not showing symptoms). Today the governor intends to address testing in particular. The worry is that we will move to Stage 3 of the plan before we have valid data.

US Post Office – Glenwood Springs, CO – David McGavock

The governor directed people to go to the Colorado State website to read the details and plan their strategy for opening: https://covid19.colorado.gov/safer-at-home .

The details of the new restrictions are not simply recommendations but directives for conducting business safely. Polis made it clear that the state has always maintained health guidelines for business and would continue to through this crisis.

If that’s what they are doing [ignoring state restrictions], then that is unsafe for the residents of Weld County, which has one of the highest per capita rates of COVID-19 in the state, and we will absolutely use every mechanism we have including they will forego their own eligibility for emergency funds. Those businesses could lose their license to operate under the state if they’re state-licensed businesses.

Jared Polis Newsconference – April 27, 2020

The threat of these consequences may not be as easy to apply as they sound. Weld County has already received their emergency funds so that cow has left the barn. But businesses should be careful not to risk their license as well as their reputation and concern for public safety. The consequences may be their end. I predict that businesses will do all they can to advertise and maintain the steps they take to protect customers if they are going to survive. Hilton Hotels have already begun.

While the variety of restrictions and recommendations that are streaming from various jurisdictions may seem confusing and contradictory, they can be boiled down to a few common sense reminders for most of us:

  • Pay attention to your health, especially symptoms that indicate Covid-19 infection. Do not leave home if you’re exhibiting these symptoms. Consult with a doctor.
  • Under age 65. Stay at home unless you have something essential do. This includes food or home maintenance shopping, exercise, work, medical or other essential activity.
  • Over 65. Stay safe at home. Ask for help in getting essential supplies.
  • Carry a mask with you if you leave the house.
  • Maintain 6 foot distance whenever possible.
  • Put mask on when you cannot maitain 6 foot distance.

These 6 reminders will contribute to your health and the health of those around you. I expect they will become a part of our daily living and common courtesy into the next few years. Settle in, practice and these actions will become second nature.

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