Bingham: Dr. Cohen had my heart |

Bingham: Dr. Cohen had my heart

I was saddened to hear about the passing of Dr. Morris Cohen this week. I had the pleasure of working with him when he was the medical adviser for the Pitkin County Board of Health — way before the COVID 19 pandemic and way before Pitkin County had a Public Health Department.

We would have very serious discussions every flu season about how important it was to promote flu shots, since as many as 40,000 people a year were dying of influenza. That was a shocking statistic at the time, and we nicknamed Morris “Dr. Gloom” because he would go on and on about how serious an upper respiratory pandemic would be in our community and around the world.

We worked on flu campaigns together, which included preparedness should businesses be shut down for an extended period. He recommended that residents have at least several days of food and water on hand so they could hunker down at home. At the time I thought. “Aw, come on, Dr. Cohen, seriously?” That was until I had the pleasure of visiting his home in Snowmass Village where behind his beautiful Harley in his garage were several containers of water and food. I joked at the time that if something ever happened I’d come to his house! 

Who knew the havoc the COVID pandemic would wreak many years in the future? No doubt Dr. Cohen knew! Morris Cohen was smart and serious but had a sense of humor that made him approachable, and somehow he made his way into my heart. He will be missed.

Pat Bingham