Aspen Princess: No matter where you are, coping with corona can take a toll, so reach out |

Aspen Princess: No matter where you are, coping with corona can take a toll, so reach out

Alison Berkley Margo
The Aspen Princess

Hey, how are you guys doing? How are you feeling and coping?

If I don’t think too much and just go about my day, everything is fine. The sun is out. I have plenty of good food to eat and clean air to breathe with natural beauty all around me. So far, my family is healthy, our income is stable enough to weather the storm, and we have plenty of space to play. If I stay focused on my immediate environment, and the things I have control over, I can manage just fine within the constraints of this new and bizarre reality.

Still, I was extremely rattled to learn about Pauli Lakkanen, a 55-year-old Aspen man who died last week from the virus. Until then, I was under the impression that anyone under the age of 60 who didn’t have a pre-existing medical condition was going to be OK. Then I read about a 40-year-old man in Vail who had died a couple days later. Suddenly I became very afraid of getting this virus that seems to keep us guessing with its wildly varied and unpredictable behavior. Some people show no symptoms and have no idea they have it. Some are sick for two days, others for two weeks. Others die.

Even though I feel safe up here, staying home in my remote little river valley where the wildlife outnumbers the people, I am lonely. Ryan is still working as the challenges of his job seem to grow and change daily. And with no child care in the foreseeable future, I am alone with my 4-year-old all day, every day. I have written about how much I appreciate this uninterrupted time with him, but I desperately miss having time to myself.

There are a few things I’m doing that have really helped me stay calm and even feel good. For whatever it’s worth, I thought I’d share them with you. I invite you to reach out and tell me what you’ve been doing, too.

It’s super important to move and breathe every day. First and foremost, get outside.

When stuck inside, I alternate between yoga classes I find on YouTube and live streamed yoga classes. It’s not my favorite, but it still has the desired effect of providing me with a guide who can tell me how to move and breathe and for how long. Yoga has been a constant in my life for almost 20 years and is the closest thing I have to a religion in the sense that it gives me an effective way to connect to something deeper in myself.

I am also loving the home workouts I got from the uber-talented and powerful Carolyn Parker at Ripple Effect Training in Carbondale. I’d been working out there twice a week on and off for over a year now and honestly don’t think I would have the physical strength required to manage a little boy (not to mention turning 50) without Carolyn and her team. These home workouts require no special equipment but still seriously kick my butt.

I have always been a believer in nutritional medicine, and if there is one weapon I have to wage war on this virus, it’s to make sure I’m as healthy as possible, with an immune system that’s firing on all pistons. That’s why I’ve been eating as much nutrient-dense foods as I can, starting each day with a smoothie packed with super greens, nut milk, and a vitamin-fortified protein powder along with a cup of tea spiked with zinc and other herbal immune system support remedies.

I also do my best to detoxify my system every day. Before bed I fill the tub with scalding hot water and drink hot tea for as long as I can stand it to get a good sweat going. Then I do at least five minutes of breathing exercises, to release toxins, to breathe deeply, and to expand my lungs with as much oxygen as I can. If this virus wants to attack me, I probably can’t stop it. But I can fight, and I’m bringing my A-game.

Finally, I think it’s more important than ever to reach out and let people know you’re thinking about them. Check in. Call. Text. Video chat. The small things are really big things right now. Don’t hold back. Open your heart. Love is the best medicine.

The Princess misses you. Email your love to


See more

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.