EL PASO COUNTY — The coronavirus restrictions bring an emergency response like never before. Southern Colorado residents have faced evacuations caused by wildfires, destruction from tornadoes, and getting stuck in cars and homes for days due to blizzard conditions. "You could see the snow and you could see the roads. It was pretty obvious you weren't going anywhere Right?” said Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management, Director, Jim Reid. “You can't see this virus." The COVID-19 response is unfamiliar.
Government leaders have imposed major restrictions telling people what they can’t see is a major threat. "So really we're asking people, probably more on faith to understand that you might be carrying it and you just don't know it," said Reid.
For the El Paso County response, there is a team of 20 plus communication pros from El Paso County Public Health, El Paso County and The City of Colorado Springs working together to put out information and answer questions about the COVID-19 response. A lot of people want to know why the response so intense, and how long will it last.
The response is to delay the spread to prevent medical providers from a wave of people overwhelming hospitals. "So that we preserve our health care facilities and resources." Work is also happening on vaccines.
It is not speculation. Other countries devastated by this virus offered a heads-up to the disastrous potential posed by covid-19.
The timeline for getting back to normal remains uncertain. “I don’t have that crystal ball. I wish I did,” said Dr. Johnson. Gathering of more reliable data is happening. It takes more than a few days. “I think it’s going to go on while,” said Reid, “To what extent? I don’t know.” A couple of weeks is likely, longer is very possible.