It's just one county over, but the difference between Garfield County and Mesa County is like night and day.

Not only are different parts of the country in different stages of reopening, so is the state of Colorado. The evidence of this was never more clear to me than it was during my recent visit to Glenwood Springs. It felt so different, it was almost like stepping into the twilight zone.

The most notable thing to me was the signage I saw on business after business that indicated wearing a mask inside was mandatory. I also witnessed a high degree of compliance by the general public, a huge contrast with what I'm seeing in Grand Junction.

I have noticed recently a sharp decline in the number of people wearing face coverings in Grand Junction. It also seems there has been less attention paid to physical contact and social distancing.

No, we have not had a large number of coronavirus cases in Mesa County and I'm so glad we are opening up. We should be opening up in a big way while continuing safe social distance practices and minimizing physical contact. But, that's the key. Continuing safe practices.

The more the state and the nation opens, the more exposures there could potentially be.  For example, think about all of the people who are flying into Grand Junction every single day. Where have they been? Who have they been exposed to? Nobody really knows, which is why it's imperative that we continue to take precautions while we strive to resume a semi-normal way of life. Just one of those people getting off a plane could affect and infect a large number of people.

Can we survive another mass shutdown in this country and in Colorado? Can Grand Valley businesses rebound from another business stoppage? We don't know the answers to those questions and we don't want to find out. Personally, I have my doubts that we could survive another shutdown economically. The best course of action seems to be to stay vigilant and see this thing through to the end, which by most accounts is still a far distance away. I may be old-fashioned, but I still say it's better to be safe than sorry. A little inconvenience now is worth avoiding massive grief down the road.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app