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I have vague recollections of high school biology that involve discussions around how species that faced extinction and survived did so through the process of adaptation. While this new iteration of coronavirus isn’t likely to cause the extinction of mankind, we are going to have to adapt to living around it if we’re to maintain life as we know it.
I’ve been living with my youngest son (22) and his best friend (21) since mid-March. I’m not complaining… having my baby home with us has been a tremendous comfort… but it has also required some adaptation. The first few weeks they were here we kept them behind a wall of plastic sheeting since they’d been in coronavirus “hot spots” — Vail and Gunnison. A few weeks ago we hung curtains between their half of the house and our half of the house to keep me from nitpicking their college-age housekeeping practices. That’s called “adapting” to the situation at hand.
I could strongarm them, or I could clean their space to my specifications every week. Neither are viable solutions. So I adapt… I made my husband put up a curtain. It’s my “house mask.” It’s not perfect in terms of keeping out their mess, but wow, it does help keep their mess off my mind.
As businesses that were forced to close are allowed to reopen, there’s a learning curve — a process of adaptation — to which we need to adapt. That might involve wearing a face mask or shopping at different times or changing your behavior in a restaurant.
Adapting, whether by donning a mask or by changing the way we entertain ourselves, to slow the spread of a virus is not the same as bowing to tyranny, even if the latter notion suits your political campaign and gives you free publicity.
Even as we reopen most businesses there are industries still struggling with how to keep their patrons safe and healthy and how to reopen. We need to keep them in mind and figure out how to keep them viable in the interim.
The learning curve is steep… most of us are still trying to remember how to get out of the house every day with our keys and our coffee. Adding a face mask is like asking us to become a circus juggler.
But we can do it. Yes, we can.
Why? Because if anyone in our culture is adaptable it’s the residents of an isolated, oft-ignored Colorado county who have endured more than their fair share of ups and downs. We know how to adapt, whether to a crazy wildfire season or to being snowed in or to an invisible marauder.
Let’s be those who learn and survive.
By NIKI TURNER | firstname.lastname@example.org