Dennis Anderson

Dennis Anderson

By Dennis Anderson

During Gov. Jared Polis’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order, social media participants were very vocal about opening businesses back up. Their rhetoric included, “The governor is stomping on our rights.” Those who didn’t protest the restrictions were labeled “sheeple.” Conversations I had with family, friends and readers were a little more subdued. They didn’t like the restrictions, but they understood why. Most declared that when businesses, in particular restaurants, opened back up, they were going to be very cautious.

Businesses like hardware stores, garden centers and of course big box retail and grocery stores flourished during this time. But restaurants were limited to dine-out options. One of the best {span}restaurateurs{/span} I know told me, “All I need to do is cover my overhead until things open back up.” That was just before Mother’s Day. Restaurants are now open at 50% dine-in capacity, but from the eyeball test they are nowhere near seeing the participation from the community.

The last two Saturday evening’s my wife Melissa and I have dined out at Clyde’s on Main Street just off of Third Street in Delta. The food is fantastic. Real rib-sticking stuff. Chicken fried steak, Pork Schnitzel (my favorite), beef tips with sauteed peppers and onions and more are on the menu. (How about that for a little free advertising?) But the issue is two Saturdays ago there was only one other couple in the restaurant, and this Saturday we were the only ones. Maybe Clyde’s isn’t as well known, but I’m not seeing the patronage at not only Clyde’s but other restaurants in Delta and Montrose.

I have to wonder if all of these protesters who were making such a stink about businesses being closed, particularly restaurants, were just blowing smoke. I don’t see them putting their money where their mouth is. I thought for sure with only 50% capacity restaurants would be turning folks away. If you go by the chatter on social media, customers are waiting in the wings. Once again it appears the most vocal on Facebook are just that, vocal and no substance.

I called out Delta County Commissioner Don Suppes for confusing the message on his “no” votes for continuation of the emergency disaster declaration. In other words his dialog about getting back to normal had nothing to do with extending the declaration — I was labeled a liberal. Remember folks, don’t be center right or you’re a liberal. You have to follow the right wing party line; any deviation will lead to name calling and attempts at public shaming. I think we’re all immune to the bluster by now.

No matter the crisis, or non-crisis, situation we are in, this is an in-your-face reminder how important it is to support your local commerce. Not only restaurants but hair salons, clothing stores and other small retail shops. Close your Amazon app and shop local.

The last COVID-19 report from Delta County that I’ve read which is from June 18 showed only two new cases and the total case count is at 80 with 72 recovered, out of 1,855 tests administered only 132 results are pending. We’re in a very low risk situation in Delta County.

We should still be cautious, but it’s time for the state to let local municipalities take the lead on how they handle and monitor COVID in their communities. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution any more.

Wear facemasks, social distance, wash your hands, etc. The message has been ingrained in all of us. But now it’s time to start supporting our local economy, our neighbors who are business owners and get back to some sort of normalcy for all of us.

Dennis Anderson is the publisher of the Delta County Independent. He can be reached at publisher@deltacountyindependent.com

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