Memories of Lyons residents of “the year under COVID-19 confinement,” from March 2020 to March 2021
In March of 2020 I was looking forward to a family trip to Chicago in late March and my first retirement trip to Machu Picchu in Peru in April. Instead, we went on weekly hikes to Hall Ranch, Rabbit Mountain, Heil Ranch, and Rocky Mountain National Park until the fires slowed us down. …Bill Palmer.
“Wherever we go in the mountains, we find more than we seek”John Muir
During the first two week shut down it felt like a small shift in life, something that would be over soon if we all did as we were asked. My children and grandchildren all live within 10 miles of one another, but we all promised to do our part and stay at home for 2 weeks. This meant that our communications would only be electronic. We have dinner together most Sundays and I wanted to keep that tradition, so my husband and I cooked a big meal and delivered portions to each of my children’s homes. We ate it together over Zoom. I remember thinking that day, how blessed we all are to have this wonderful connection no matter what. Life was much more innocent then; so much has changed in a year. …Linda McKinney Pecone
“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.”George Bernard Shaw
We were at the Candidates’ Forum where hand sanitizer was liberally distributed along with sani-wipes. Then after the meeting, we, along with Rick and Bonnie DiSalvo, Julie Boyle and Donn Kuntz went over to Pizza Bar 66 for pies. This meeting was March 9 and was the last public meeting we went to, as well as the last time we were in a restaurant. Now that we had the vaccines, we hope to have a sit down restaurant meal very soon. Unfortunately, Donn passed away a couple weeks ago. ….Ken Singer and Sandy Spellman
“Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness.”Euripides
My main ‘story’ from last March: I had plane tickets to rendezvous with my sisters in Las Vegas, where my brother lives. Late Feb, early March. My sister in the Chicago area was the first to bail. We thought she was overreacting. By the time we would have gone, a few weeks later, we realized she was right. Southwest gave us each credits, which usually expire within the year. I have to call them to see if they’ll extend it, under the circumstances. Since I’ve gotten my second Covid vaccine shot, I may be willing to travel (still masking, social distancing) sometime in the next few months. …Cathy Rivers
“Not all those who wander are lost.”J.R.R. Tolkien
With in-person meetings banned over the last year, I have used Lyons Happenings Facebook page as my way of keeping touch with my community and my neighbors. The isolation isn’t as hard to take when I can read and respond daily to others opinions, get information about local resources, help with posted needs, and let my needs be known. I feel like I still can be a vital component of the Lyons community by doing what Arthur Ash said to do in trying times, “Start where you are, do what you can, use what you have.” I made myself a promise to help anyone who asked if I could. In the last year I’ve given away what I didn’t need, loaned out what was needed by someone else, baked lots of stuff for others, and made many phone calls to check in with those I care about. It’s made this year a year of gratitude and not one only of loss. …Robyn Sloan
“Start where you are, do what you can, use what you have.”Arthur Ash
COVID-We are all threatened with COVID and need to do what Gov Polis says..We are missing All things-school concerts; volleyball, basketball and football games, church in person, town board meetings in person, as well as seeing people, but as long as we don’t get it, we are lucky. I hope everyone can get their shots..it is getting scary that so many have not gotten theirs. Luckily I will get my second shot Monday. My good square dancing friend, Vi Andrew, got COVID and died, even though she was locked in her room at a health center. I am clipping newspaper articles and want to make a scrapbook of COVID, so they know what happened 100 years from now. Call 303-823-5925, if you will help with that. Thanks. LaVern Johnson (Lyons Historical Society president)
“A moment lasts all of a second, but the memory lives on forever.”Unknown
Linda (Backup) and I have received both Pfizer shots and I have been cleaning up the camper today. We were lucky to have gotten the camper 5 years ago before the vamper crunch in 2020. It allowed us to see our daughter and her new husband’s family in July and Linda’s 99 year old dad in October.
We have not been in a restaurant for over a year and did not buy ski passes for the first time in over 25 years. Even when we used our camper, we never used rest areas and always ate in the camper. We are heading to the west coast in March in the camper; and hope to return in spring for gardening on our return. We hope to see our son on our way back for the first time in months.
We have stayed healthy and feel lucky. I lost a close cousin to Covid right before Christmas which really hit home to us. …….Larry Quinn
“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”Custave Flaubert
Since Covid-19 exploded into our national consciousness last year, my 81-year-old world (already isolated and constrained because of health issues) suddenly became even smaller. And when my daughter went through a crisis, we could do no more than talk on the phone. She lives in NW Aurora, and has a heart condition. I’m in Lyons. But what caused the most pain was the unexpected worsening of the health of a dear friend. I felt that her situation made it too risky for me to visit her, and we had to rely on telephone conversations. Initially, I couldn’t believe her time was limited–last March she was hiking, taking her dog out for regular walks, picking up groceries for me! And then last summer she collapsed and was in hospice! She passed away a month ago, and we couldn’t even have a memorial service for her. And, selfishly, I now hold fast to my memories of her when last I saw her: vibrant, flushed with cold air and exercise, and doing what she most valued–helping others. ……..Novella Maia
“Family and friends are hidden treasures; seek them and enjoy their riches.”Wanda Hope Carter
I had not been getting good medical care, so was researching what care to change to. Had just decided on UCHealthcare and made an appointment, which I kept. Really liked the Certified Medical Assistant I was assigned to. Was to make other appointments with specialists. Got some of that done… but COVID took off, with masks, social distancing, etc. I already had Chronic Bronchitis from the 2012 wildfire smoke, so I was very afraid. I also was 77, had diabetes for 35 years, and had heart issues, including a stent in 2006. So I was fearful of even going to any more docs.
I grew up in farm and lake country in Michigan, so didn’t miss town. Love nature. Was oldest of 11 children – 10 of them boys. They became a clique onto themselves. Plus, the oldest bro – my best lifelong friend – died of polio when he was 5 and I was 6. That was pre-Salk vaccine. And it left 4 years between me and the next eldest brother. Consequently, I was never in any school with any of my siblings, and my sister was only 5 when I was the first to marry, the “love of my life.” I became second Mama, and was resented by bros. We moved frequently – 1 to 3 times a year. So I don’t remember a home, per se, except Grandma’s. Also have only half a dozen school-related memories, until 6th grade. But I loved learning and did well wherever we went. We kept moving after that, but it was always in the same school district. So there was plenty of continuity. My poor bros had to change elementary schools, with less love of learning than they had.
So when Covid came along, I was very happy to mostly stay home in the foothills near Lyons. And I still adore learning! Can’t even read or watch all the books, documentaries or other programs that interest me. I’m still afraid of catching Covid. And, I had to have a second stent put in back in June 2020. But I am still delaying most medical testing and appointments. Will need to get one of the vaccines soon, so I can get back to my many health needs. Sooner than later, I hope.
“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”–Desmond Tutu
Perhaps it would be note-worthy, in reflecting on COVID impacts, to share changes in our transportation practices and our recreation options.
Though we had invested over $250 dollars in 2020 family RTD passes, our last use of a bus was in February. Regarding car trips, we cancelled an out-of state trip, logged noticeably fewer vehicle miles to social and volunteer events, cut down trips to the grocery store by half or more, and mourned the loss of convenient farmers’ markets. There was a noticeable uptick in travel time to specific (and scattered) farmstands and hiking trailheads.
As my family and friends strived for flexibility and understood we were going to live in extended “staycation” mode, we increased distances driven to our county’s hiking trails. More time was spent researching which open space hiking trails were open, determining which were wide enough for social distancing, and noting which ones had a better mask-wearing compliance rate among the hikers and runners. As recreation centers closed, we shifted to a new sport: standup paddleboarding.