High Points: COVID is canceled

Paul E. Anna
High Points

I had dream that they canceled COVID.

It was vivid and realistic. I dreamed that I woke up one morning and turned on the television news to hear it decreed that all was, once again, back to normal. That all those who had been sick or died were magically well. That all who had lost jobs could return to them. That the worst parts of the past few months had been erased and, today, we would reenter life, as we knew it. That COVID had been canceled.

Yes, it was a very Pollyanna kind of dream.

The dream came the night that they announced the official cancellation of the Aspen Music Festival 2020 summer concerts. The cancellation of things have been the low watermarks of this entire year. It is the year of the cancellation. I was watching live the night of March 11 when the NBA canceled the game between the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder just before tip-off in one of the more surreal sports television moments of all time. The next day the NBA, the NCAA hoops tournament, the MLB, the NHL and the Masters all canceled or postponed events. It was stunning.

But there were still summer events in Aspen on the docket. Then they began to be picked off one by one. The Food & Wine Classic, the Aspen Ideas Festival, the first of the Jazz Aspen Snowmass 2020 June Experience. Each cancellation seemed to be inevitable but when each became official there was an audible “awww” in the community.

These are touchstone events that are part of the social and financial fabric of this community and they were simply going away. Canceled due to COVID. The final announcement came this past Monday when the Aspen Music Festival and School canceled the 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was, again, inevitable but when it officially happened it felt like a death knell.

So it was that I had a weird dream that things were about to reverse themselves. Weird dreams have been a part of my past couple months, along with tossing and turning the nights away. But most of the dreams have focused on the past. This one, on Monday night, turned towards the future.

I was certain that it was real and that, while we would all remember the things that have happened over these past two months, we were about to get a reprieve. That we were going to move forward with knowledge and positivity in a way that acknowledged the mistakes made, but kept the good that has come from our enforced sabbatical like a renewed appreciation of those on the front lines who led the fight against COVID and greater belief in science.  

And now that I have awoken I have become more enamored, no, obsessed with the concept of making an official announcement that we are simply shutting it down. That COVID is canceled.

I said it was a Pollyanna kind of dream.