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We know that we can’t return to normal

Published on: April 24th, 2020

Guest Column: Joseph Salazar

Joseph A. Salazar is a former Democratic member of the Colorado House of Representatives, serving from 2013 to early 2019. Salazar is also an attorney with Smith, Shelton, Ragona and Salazar LLC. He focuses on employment law, civil rights and constitutional law. He is currently the Executive Director for Colorado Rising.

 

 

We know that we can’t return to normal.

 

A lot of speculation behind Gov. Jared Polis’ “easing” of stay-at-home restrictions. I think, however, we all have access to the same data that he has (via CDPHE). I’m baffled by his “easing” of restrictions. Seems like he’s caving to pressures.

 

So, let’s go with what we do know. We know that COVID-related deaths are still occurring. We know that COVID-related cases and hospitalizations are still occurring. We know that some days it looks like the curve is flattening, while other days it increases.

 

We know that black and brown community members are being disproportionately affected. We know that seniors are at serious risk.

 

We know that we don’t know everything about COVID. We know there are reported cases of reinfection. We know that people can be asymptotic and transmit the virus.

 

History tells us there was a second, more powerful wave of the 1918 flu. We know that.

 

We know that businesses are being hurt by stay-at-home orders. We know that there have been massive layoffs. We know that nothing was done to ease rent or mortgage obligations. We know that the stimulus package was a bullshit hand-out to the rich, and a piss poor package for working families.

 

We know that Polis wants oil and gas operators to drill despite the fact that it’s fucking stupid to do so. We know that Polis is okay with oil and gas drilling near a 55+ community despite the respiratory concerns. We know that Polis couldn’t give an overripe shit about drilling in communities of color.

 

We know not enough tests have been conducted. We know that our healthcare system is severely inadequate.

 

We know our healthcare workers, grocery store workers, truck drivers, migrant workers, and others have placed themselves in mortal danger in order to keep supply chains moving. We know we love them. We know who the true heroes are.

 

We know big businesses couldn’t give a fat flying shit about their workers until death starts affecting their bottom line.

 

We know that we can’t return to normal.

 

 

We know that IF WE DON’T ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE, we will be facing the threat of more pandemics.

 

What we don’t know…. we don’t know if lifting the stay-at-home orders will reverse all the sacrificing that’s been done so far by so many. We know it cannot be amateur hour with politicians making big decisions that drive life and death for Coloradans.

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