Vince Lahey profile on COVID-19

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Photo courtesy of Vince Lahey's Facebook

A post from Vince Lahey's facebook.

In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, many members of the community have taken to developing their own opinions, be it strong, moderate, or indifferent regarding strict isolation and social-distancing related regulations. Many have chosen to express opinions of the subject using social media platforms.

Aspen citizen Vince Lahey conveys his distinct view on local handling of Covid-19. He has expressed many of his positions on Facebook sparking controversy from the community. Lahey has been transparent on his stance regarding how the local and national community has handled the Coronavirus outbreak since its initial appearance in late 2019. His beliefs have been prominent since the first positive case to have originated in Aspen. He used an analogy to explain how the government “handled the virus through the disregarding of protocol”.

“Imagine that a tsunami is coming and the lifeguard sees the water receding beyond anything he has ever seen before, but instead of shouting to people (per his training) that this means a tsunami is about to hit and blowing his whistle as loudly as possible, the lifeguard simply stands around, spinning his whistle on his finger, and encourages people to keep swimming. The lifeguard was trained to see that tsunami, and he did nothing,” Lahey said.

Vince Lahey is a television host with Aspen82, a charity auctioneer, a documentary filmmaker, and the children’s book author of the book The Furry Mountain Monkeys of Aspen, CO. As a public figure on Facebook, Lahey repeatedly refers to his statements as “speaking truth to power;” he believes that voicing true concerns for a community and advocating for certain beliefs is essential to educating, and thus enlightening, others on the issue of the pandemic. He has been straightforward in how the world is impacted if precautions and regulations are not strictly put into place.

Lahey has continued to reiterate the notion that pandemics have been a known threat to humanity since, “the beginning of man,” and that Aspen specifically was at risk, to begin with, due to the substantial amount of international travel to and from Aspen.

“By not shutting down the airport, they were responsible for continuing the spread of the coronavirus all over the planet, from Australia to Argentina to Mexico to Europe, and all parts of the United States,” Lahey said.

Lahey’s disagreement with local handling of the situation has become a focal point for many of the arguments he makes as a now well-known Facebook presence. He also believes the situation should have been handled by “retracing the footsteps of all known contractors, as well as the immediate closure of all non-essential businesses, schools, and ski resorts.”

“We have known that the faster we act, the more lives we save because the spread of a pandemic is exponential,” Lahey said.

Not only did Lahey express criticism on the regulation of prevention on a local level, but he also expressed disappointment in how the federal government took action, stating that there was a lack of effective leadership in many positions and outlining the reasons for these judgments, stating, in brief, that it was an “absolute complete failure.”

He addressed Aspen Skiing Company, along with County Commissioners, as being encouragers of the Aspen community to continue to ski and partake in outdoor activities in order to maintain good mental health.

“This runs counter to the hospital’s and the county health department’s message of ‘stay home, stay safe’,” Lahey said. “The message of skinning is even more dangerous when you consider that one single accident on the mountains will require a rescue operation that can involve upwards of forty emergency responders, who will all have to put aside their own attempts to maintain social distancing while they coordinate their efforts to save that one skier.”

Lahey identified how the virus moves within different age groups: in younger kids, the virus is not consistently symptomatic as opposed to its deadly threat to those of older generations.

“For the virus, hitching a ride on a kids’ hands is exactly what it needs to spread itself to the more vulnerable older population. One hug from a grandchild can be the beginning of a tragic spread of the virus through an entire nursing home,” Lahey said.

As a result of his distinct and opinionated stances on this belief, there has been a backlash to Lahey’s viewpoint. Many Facebook users within the Aspen community became members of a Facebook group titled “Vince Lahey is a douche nozzle”. Lahey addressed this group as a “hate page,” stating that it is a “byproduct of saying true to a message.”He has since deleted his account on Facebook and has decided that it was “not worth his time anymore.”

“A unified message from our leaders is what is necessary. From all must come a message that if we want to re-open our economy sooner rather than later, we must all play by the same rules,” Lahey said. “We must understand that we are all in this together and that we are only as strong as our weakest link. A powerful marketing campaign is required to make the message clear.”

Vince Lahey’s former Facebook page bio states “I share relevant information on Covid-19 as it relates to Aspen, CO. I can be funny and I can be harsh.”