It’s strange times we live in, that’s for sure. Of course, with a president who thinks ingesting bleach and sticking a UV light up your ass can cure coronavirus, it’s not surprising. 🤦♀️ In Denver, as of 04/25/20, we’ve had 12,968 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 672 deaths. All since March 5, when Governor Polis announced the states first confirmed cases.
Living under a “stay at home” order since March 23, 2020, then being warned to always wear a mask out since April 3rd. Coloradans have taken to these ‘orders’ to varying degrees. There are those, like me and my family, who are taking things very seriously. I have personally left the house 7 times since March 15th—with my husband doing the grocery shopping once a week (I have asthma, thus considered high risk). We wear our masks (thank you Vicki!) and we actively practice social distancing measures. 6 feet people!!
And while so many of us realize how perilous this situation is, and that following these restrictions for as long as necessary is the key to getting back to some semblance of normal, there are so many who don’t get it. Like the groups of people who are still gathering at the picnic tables in the park across the street. Or the millennial household on the corner who had a party last night. And of course, the #COVIDIOT protestors who feel all this is somehow unconstitutional and against their right to do whatever the fuck they want because they’re American. We shouldn’t be surprised—it’s completely American to be self-centered and full of shit.
But I digress. 3 of the 7 times I’ve left the house was to take a walk through Denver neighborhoods that I frequent, and to see how the pandemic has affected them. This is what I captured.
On this day, people seemed to be taking things seriously. There were very few people out, and some were wearing masks (at this time, Governor Polis hadn’t spoken out about masks yet). One restaurant, La Loteria Taqueria, was open for takeout, their sign proclaiming “Tacos + margaritas. Why not?” Why not indeed! I love supporting local, and the fact that we can now get cocktails to go, hell yes! The overwhelming theme on South Broadway was that of hope and togetherness, illustrated by the artists who took to decorating the boarded up store fronts.
I only spent about 45 minutes, and around 6 blocks, but the story of Colfax during the pandemic is compelling.
So different than South Broadway and Colfax, River North (or RiNo as the hipsters call it) is a neighborhood in the thick of gentrification. What used to be an industrial hub (with all the grit and grime that entails) is now a booming art district. Home to hipsters and artists (Millennials and the oldest of Gen-Z), the attitude I captured was that of “we give zero fucks.” Half of the people walking around (in small clusters) were not wearing masks, nor adhering to 6-feet social distancing practices. The false sense of security many in this neighborhood exude is alarming, but not surprising. Hey, I was 30 once. I might have given COVID-19 the finger myself back then. Quite a few of the restaurants and bars were open for takeout, with just as many cocktails to go as food.
You can see all my Denver pandemic photos in my Flickr album, 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic.