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Opinion Columns

Opinion: I’m the mayor of Vail — and now I have coronavirus, too

You’ve heard the message from public health experts near and far: COVID-19 has no borders or boundaries.

I can now attest to that personally: I have tested positive and am in isolation.

In following the protocols to notify those I’ve been in contact with, I’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support that has been offered to Kristin and me. I am doing just fine and well on the road to recovery.

MORE: Coronavirus is running so rampant in Colorado’s mountains residents, visitors should “minimize all contact with other people”

Vail Mayor Dave Chapin. (Handout)

I decided to go public with my diagnosis to not only share what it has been like for me, but to join with Vail Health CEO Will Cook in communicating the urgent need for everyone to take immediate actions to knock this virus down.

Please heed the warnings of our local public health experts, as it will free up critical resources for those who need it most and will ultimately save lives.

This means staying home if you are sick, calling your healthcare provider, helping tracking by reporting your symptoms, adhering to social distancing best practices, and following all county and state guidelines. Join in the #ProtectOurValley movement because staying six feet away from someone now means that we can all be closer later.

As many of you know, I have an underlying health condition, so I’m taking my diagnosis very seriously. At the outset, I never exhibited any critical issues outside of feeling pretty crummy for a few days. This is why social distancing is so important. Some people experience mild symptoms but are still contagious to others, who might have a more severe reaction to COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.  

We all know there will be many more cases testing positive. Let’s help everyone pull through by reaching out virtually to friends and family to see how they are feeling and what support they may need.

READ: Colorado Sun coronavirus coverage.

I’m especially proud that Eagle Valley’s behavioral health resources are well established, and I would encourage people to reach out to a behavioral health therapist for guidance on how to cope during this uncertain time. Behavioral health specialists are utilizing telehealth to conduct appointments, and to find a local therapist, visit www.eaglevalleybh.org.

With our circumstances continuing to change each day, I urge everyone to stay strong, work together and pitch in to help where you can.

For example, join me in making a financial contribution to the Community Market food bank at www.eaglevalleycf.org. Other avenues include Vail Valley Salvation Army at www.salvationarmyvail.org,  and remember you can find the latest Eagle County public health information at www.ecemergency.org.

Also, know that our Vail leadership is doing everything it can on all fronts to respond to this public health crisis to position ourselves for a rapid recovery – socially and economically. Our Town Council will hold a special virtual meeting on Tuesday, March 24 to discuss our progress. View the meeting on www.highfivemedia.org/life-five.

TODAY’S UNDERWRITER

Lastly, I can’t begin to tell you how fortunate I feel to live in such a caring community. The past few days have been challenging, and I now must turn my attention to my own recovery.

For those of you who know me, it’s hard to resist the temptation to answer every phone call and respond to every text and email that is coming my way. However, it’s best that I disconnect for a time and rest. Thank you for understanding, and I’ll be in touch soon.


This column, originally published on the Vail town website, is being shared with permission from Mayor Chapin.

Dave Chapin is the mayor of Vail.