Wendy Koenig

Dear People of Estes Park,

The times in which we live necessitate that my report-out take a different approach this week.

None but the most hard-hearted among us are able to ignore the hourly deluge of information about Covid-19. Cycle after cycle reports about the devastating effect it’s having on people throughout the world. Daily case and death counts per country and state. Closures, quarantines, lay-offs, shutdowns, social distancing and frequent handwashing are the new norms.

Here in Estes Valley, every person, family, and visitor feel the virus’ insidious touch. It is present in the guidelines given our schools, churches, and organizations. And in the restrictions and regulations applied to local businesses, shops, restaurants and lodges.

Much like me and this report-out, people here are stepping up. Embracing approaches that support our community while curtailing the virus. Look around. What’s happening is quite marvelous. Resilient restaurateurs, their doors closed, are providing curb-side services. Our ever-reliable grocery stores are maintaining ample supplies of milk, eggs, bread and other staples (including ice cream). Crossroads Ministry has amped up its efforts to feed all who come forward and to help those in need of basic supplies. Local hardware stores are working with Estes Park Health to ensure doctors and nurses have the supplies they and the people who live here need. The EDC and Chamber are gearing up to help procure small business loans.

These are difficult times, that will in the days and weeks ahead quite likely become even more difficult. Our tourism-based economy is severely impacted. Our workforce is afraid, businesses owners are afraid, finances are stressed to the maximum. Rest assured, I am keenly aware of the gravity of our current situation.

My heart goes out to individuals, families, businesses, and workers. I understand you face many challenges. Also, as a trained health professional I share the fears and concerns of those living with health issues other than this virus—cancer, diabetes, dementia, heart disease, etc. At the same time, I applaud the people, shopkeepers, business leaders, restauranteurs, educators, clergy and others who proactively are implementing tactics and strategies that connect people with people and provide services "at a distance." I applaud the people and assorted entities who are putting our safety above all else. Who are work tirelessly to protect each one of the wonderful people of Estes Park. For them, let’s be grateful.

Looking to the future, I have no doubts, not one, that as the Covid-19 threat dissipates, Estes Park will come back with greater vision, strength, and resolve than it has ever had. Estes Park has an incredible history of resiliency. Our people know how to unite. We are mountain strong. Let’s move forward together. Stay safe.

With sincere gratitude,

Wendy Koenig

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