Guest editorial: Park City mayor says we’ve turned a corner in the pandemic but risks remain
Park City mayor
Dear Park City,
Congratulations! We have turned a corner and have entered the next phase of this pandemic — “stabilization.” If you’re still trying to master Zoom and work off your COVID-19 weight, don’t worry, you’ll have some time before we graduate to the “recovery” phase. Last week, the governor issued a new health order moving our emergency status from high to moderate risk and allowing portions our economy to reopen. What does this mean? It means the trends are improving, and we can start to stabilize because of YOUR ACTIONS.
You have shown impressive discipline and patience over the past six weeks. Collectively, we have faced illness, isolation and economic hardship, but your sacrifice made a difference. Summit County — by far the hardest hit (per capita) in Utah — has slowed the spread of COVID-19 and bought time to bolster our health care system. Thank you for your support of our county Health Department officials. They are exhausted but resolute, and what might have felt like severe measures have saved lives and should accelerate our recovery.
We are entering the next phase, but the risks remain the same. What has changed is the management. We are moving away from the regulatory phase, where the government — specifically the state and county Health Department — tell us what to do in this crisis and into a phase of individual responsibility. Best practices are still encouraged: continue to stay at home, social distance, wear a mask in public and avoid groups of more than 20. But now it is up to you to determine your threshold for risk. You will need to evaluate what is necessary to protect yourself, and those around you.
If you are uncomfortable in a situation, remove yourself. If you dislike a business environment, don’t go in. If your neighbors are behaving recklessly, don’t engage. Not everyone will comply, so please be patient and focus on what you can control, and how you can help.
This pandemic has taught us many lessons, but perhaps none as poignant as “a community is only as strong as its most vulnerable.” The crisis has been hard on all but crushing to our frontline workers. Not everyone has the luxury to work from home, and thankfully, Park City has shown amazing generosity and empathy towards those in need. This crisis will likely get harder for some, so we must sustain our support to those compromised and in need.
Please TAKE IT SLOW and ease into this phase. Many businesses will reopen, but we have much to learn and will be monitoring and adjusting. Remain vigilant and remember: Your actions impact yourself and others — it’s about personal responsibility.
Stay healthy, stay calm, take care of each other, and we will get through this TOGETHER.
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Christopher Smart writes in a guest editorial that, until police reform happens in Utah, young men will continue to be ripped away from their families.