The streets of Aspen seem abandoned, and the eerie emptiness of town is discomforting. There is no 5 o’clock traffic and no tourists strolling through the mall. Aspen looks as if the whole town has gone on vacation. But it is quite the opposite, as most are at home. Although unusual, the emptiness of Aspen at first glance can be seen as a success\; locals are staying away from social places to stop the spread of COVID19. However, a more in-depth look into local activities around town points to a failure of some to follow social distancing guidelines.
Due to Coronavirus regulations and recommendations implemented by the State of Colorado, most locals are self-quarantining in separate households. This doesn’t ring true on the mountains and various hiking trails, (mostly anywhere outdoor activities are still permitted) because groups of people are still gathering and violating state guidelines. This type of behavior is continuing the spread of the virus and delaying the time folks at home will get to return to normal life.
Although Aspen Skiing Company closed the mountains to discourage skiers from participating in the sport together, large groups of skiers are still skinning up the mountain. Because it is impossible for the authorities to police all the residents in Aspen, people are getting away with not following the rules.
Abiding by the rules is important because we are in this crisis as a community that everyone contributes to try and keep our community as safe as possible. It is irresponsible to put unnecessary “fun” activities ahead of keeping a town and even our state healthy.
Only essential activities should be prioritized and done in small family groups. People can still exercise with their families or alone without putting others at risk. It is selfish to assume “just one hike up Tiehack with my friends isn’t going to do anything”. We are all in this together, so we should all be considerate of one another.