High Points: I read the news today — oh boy!
It is amazing the things we took for granted a month ago that now seem to be luxuries. I mean, at the beginning of March who would have thought of The Aspen Times as a luxury? And now, less than 30 days later, getting a copy of the paper or the online version is just that, a luxury.
Never, at least in our lifetimes, has it been so important to stay up to date with the news of the day. Things are changing so rapidly that we need to be on top of the closures, the openings, the rules and recommendations that seem to change hourly. It simply makes one’s head swim.
But thanks to the good people who are putting it on the line each day, not just at The Aspen Times, but at all of the newspapers that continue to publish, there is a daily source for all of that information. And it comes in a familiar form. And in Aspen, at least, it’s free.
Think of that. There are reporters and photographers (they are deemed essential) who are chasing down the details of the biggest story of our times in order to share them with you each day in print. And all you have to do to get it, thanks to those advertisers who continue to support journalism with their advertising, is open up the news box or go online and open up the links to their stories. No charge.
I think the day things began to really sink in around here was Saturday, March 14, when the announcement came that Aspen Skiing Co. would be closing the mountains “immediately.” Even then there was still some hope of a late-season reopening if the COVID-19 threat had retreated. But since that moment, just three weeks ago tomorrow, everything in all our lives has changed.
I know the first thing I do each morning is to wake up and thoroughly go through the papers to find out the status of our community response and if there have been changes to the mandates and orders — as there was Wednesday. And I also know that this is something that we will be dealing with for at least the rest of spring. And who knows, even into the summer months. We can only hope that the local journalists and their publications can hang in there and continue to provide us with the information we will need to respond to this threat.
The Aspen Times is a paper that for years has been filled with advertisements for luxury goods like jewelry, fine clothing, and high-end homes. It is ironic that the real luxury in these pages is the reporting of the news.
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Tony Vagneur: While climate change is something to be tackled long-term in order to reduce wildfires, governments need to look into preventative measures that can be done now to help the land.