Aspen must be mindful of coronavirus |

Aspen must be mindful of coronavirus

Yesterday while returning from my gym I stopped by my favorite coffee shop. Unfortunately, I saw staff working without gloves, making coffee and handling croissants and other food items directly with their hands. I asked one of the staff to tell the owner, a wonderful person whom I like and respect very much, that I wished she would have her people start wearing gloves.

I have never had such a rude response. But far more importantly, this incident illustrated a lack of willingness of many to take even basic measures to deal with our current health crisis. I was told “we will take it under advisement.” After thinking about it, I returned to the store and started to reiterate that what I wanted was my input conveyed to the owner, but before my first word I was cut off and told “I will not talk to you unless you have a mask on.” With a sneer.

I replied forcefully that I wanted him to convey my thoughts to the owner and he replied “watch your attitude.” I replied in my loudest voice “you watch your words” using the appropriate adjective for emphasis. I have never done something like this in my life. Ever.

I do not apologize for my behavior. I want everybody to hear this in the most impactful way because I think all of us in our wonderful town need to recognize the gravity of the situation. And that we can take effective action. However difficult and disruptive, we need to modify our actions to minimize the danger we all, together, face.

Today’s risk is very low. It is defined by how many people are infected compared to total population, currently a little over 100 confirmed cases. Tomorrow the number of cases will be determined by the weekly doubling of cases over the course of the coming months. Although much is not yet known, the virus growth rate until stringent public health measures are in place is less than two weeks.

Everybody that benefits from their investments knows the enormous growth that compounding returns over time. Imagine how much your initial investment, say $160 to represent the current infections in the U.S. Wednesday, would be worth if it doubled every two weeks over a year and you get the picture.

Hopefully my words, however objectionable to some, will have an impact. Certainly Thursday’s announcement of our first case here in the mountains should have even more of an impact for all of us. The good news is that the growth rate can be significantly lowered by implementing doable but difficult public health protocols. Lacking federal efforts like implemented in other countries, we must act locally. We need to take action. Here. And now. Before it is too late!

Ray Stover


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