The predicted fall/winter resurgence of COVID-19 has arrived in Colorado. As an ER nurse who faces the realities of the pandemic with every shift, I can tell you that we ALL need to fight this health care crisis together with all the tools available and not let down our guards. No one should get a free pass. 

In my role as state legislator now in a special legislative session to consider public policies to help guide us through this crisis, I oppose granting civil legal immunity to corporations and some businesses because it won’t help stop the spread of the infection.

And neither Colorado nor the nation can get back to business as usual until we have the virus under control.

State Rep. Kyle Mullica, D-Northglenn

No doubt the vast majority of businesses are doing their best to deal with containing COVID-19, but we all know that it takes only a few lapses to create a community crisis. Unfortunately, there are still people who intentionally won’t wear a mask and flaunt the CDC recommendations, endangering their family, friends and anyone around them.

Allowing legal immunity to places where people work, shop and gather translates into relieving some segments of the population from their responsibility to be part of the pandemic solution. 

Pandemic fatigue is real, and we all feel it. People are desperate to get out of their homes and back to work, just to support themselves, their families and their households. They should not have to choose between their health and their lives and making a living.

Our public debate during this special session should not be about giving sweeping immunity to corporations; instead we should be holding them accountable to provide appropriate health precautions for their employees and the public.

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We’ve seen how this health care crisis has exposed the inequities in our communities with low-income and people of color suffering disproportionately. The working-class people that I represent deserve a safe environment to work in as they go about their lives providing for their families.

My neighbors should not have to shoulder a bigger burden while corporate entities are provided with a legal pass from taking their piece of the responsibility.

Colorado employees should not be required to choose between paying this month’s bills and returning to work in a dangerous environment for an employer that cannot be held accountable.

In truth, we all have a responsibility to do our part to protect others during this pandemic. Corporations are not excluded from this truth. 

I am exposed to COVID-19 regularly in the emergency room. I disinfect and wear every piece of personal protective equipment possible to prevent transmission of the virus to my fellow employees, other patients and to my wife and children.

Working in the ER is physically and emotionally exhausting as the never-ending onslaught of patients continue to crowd our hospitals and emergency rooms.

Seeing it first-hand has been discouraging at times, but taking care of patients is what I signed up to do. I refuse to stand by while immunity is granted, instead of focusing our efforts on beating COVID-19.

Even with the vaccines just weeks or months away from distribution, it is important to socially distance, wear masks and practice good personal hygiene habits to flatten the rate of infection. We cannot let up, and we all share responsibility to beat the virus. No free passes. 

Rep. Kyle Mullica, D-Northglenn, is an emergency room nurse and former emergency medical technician. 

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Rep. Kyle Mullica

Special to The Colorado Sun