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Steamboat Magazine

The State of a Nation

04/22/2020 10:36AM ● By Alesha Damerville

By Alesha Damerville 

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – The importance of constantly washing hands, the non-touching of our faces and the use of masks and gloves in public spaces has been repeated and enforced time and again, but the biggest way the community can stay safe during the spread of COVID-19 is simple: isolation.

On Monday, April 20, Governor Jared Polis announced the upcoming end of the stay-at-home restrictions and the introduction of the “safer-at-home” order. Restaurants and bars will continue to be restricted to carry-out only, but businesses such as hair and nail salons and massage therapists will reopen.

The community is urged to continue practicing social distancing as much as possible. 

“We have a need for continued isolation until we know more about how this virus is going to affect our community,” says Dr. Matthew Freeman, physician and co-owner of Steamboat Emergency Center. 

“What appear to be drastic measures are exactly what we need. In order to keep our numbers of infected low, we need to keep practicing the same drastic measures each and every day. It’s working – it’s keeping our numbers low. 

Dr. Freeman has been working in Chicago through the pandemic. “We’re seeing the total number of patients that need hospitalization in the major metropolitan cities flattening,” he says. “That is a direct result of the efforts of each person in every community staying home and limiting exposure to one another.”

“Realistically, because we are hoping to keep the virus at bay, a couple months of social isolation should be expected to see the greatest number of people without infection,” Dr. Freeman adds. 

“The thing I love most about living in Steamboat is that’s it’s a pretty educated city and one where people truly care about their health. Steamboat residents do, in a lot more ways than most, recognize the importance of the ownership of their health,” Dr. Freeman says. “It’s a unique environment that makes my job more fulfilling.” 

Misinformation, Dr. Freeman says, is something that we should continue to watch out for. “Be very selective of what information and sources you choose to utilize during this time,” he says. “Find the time to hear and respect the words of Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is a very respected and knowledgeable source of information at this time.” 

Dr. Freeman has described the full reopening of the country at the end of April as “grossly optimistic.”