Living in fear will be Aspen’s demise |

Living in fear will be Aspen’s demise

Aspen employees are living in fear due to the county and city requirements for masks.

My father-in-law, wife, 5-month-old daughter and I hiked Ajax in under two hours. Running the final 200 meters to the Sundeck, I entered the food line and chugged water as if it were an oasis. The manager berated me to wear a mask (even regulated airlines allow customers to consume food or beverage without a mask). There was not a person within 20 feet of my family, except the manager, who was 10 feet from me at this time.

He yelled, “I wasn’t kidding … put your mask on!” Offering more clarity, he shared: “I’m following county guidelines.”

I translate his message as: “I am afraid of the county closing my business, and that’s a problem because remaining open is critical to providing for me and my employees.”

The irony here is deafening. A mask is required to walk into a building, but not required while sitting still at a table. A clerk will handle a credit card or cash with a bare hand, but an individual must cover their nose and mouth. A hiker is prohibited to consume water indoors at 11,000 feet without a mask on because there is a greater likelihood of contracting COVID-19 than suffering from a heatstroke.

The “Public Health” plea to mask up is increasing fear. The “social distancing” recommendations isolate individuals causing them to self-regulate those emotions. Fear and isolation breeds a frozen human spirit, which is more lethal than any virus.

What will it feel like in a month or three months living with the current fear spread by this government? The “new normal” does not and will not discriminate; it will destroy Aspen, and there are no economic vaccines for dead local businesses.

James Hairston Jr.


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.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User

Letter to the Editor

‘Welcome Strangers’ showing Sunday


Two Rivers Unitarian-Universalist Church, in conjunction with the Roaring Fork Valley’s Interfaith Council and Sanctuary Unidos, is showing a Zoom presentation of the documentary “Welcome Strangers” at 10 a.m. Sunday.

See more