Blinking signs along Highway 93 proclaimed the latest victim of Coronavirus.
Frozen Dead Guy Days – Cancelled.
A few weeks ago, I wrote up the heartiness of us Nederland folks and our ability to weather the storm.
A few weeks ago, I thought this virus would cause little to no disruption to my life in Nederland, Colorado. Sure, if you lived in a bit city, it would be scary. But how much would it impact my life living on two acres of land in a small mountain in Colorado?
A lot more than I would have believed.
At the time, I never dreamed of the world we live in today.
All major sporting events – professional, college, even high school – cancelled.
Gatherings of more than 250 people – BANNED.
Entire work places, including my own, now working remotely from home.
It dawned on me yesterday, that we are living through historic times. One hundred years from now, kids will learn about the Great Coronavirus Pandemic that wreaked havoc around the world. That led thousands of people to die. That brought the world to a screeching halt.
I thought I would be busy teaching large groups of kids how to ski at Winter Park. The normally busy spring break ski business is no longer. All those Texans and Floridians cancelled their plane reservations and condos. Today, there more ski instructors than students. The ski slopes that would normally be teeming with skiers seemed more like a ghost town. Lift lines? None existed.
And my hometown of Nederland had to do something unthinkable.
Frozen Dead Guy Days – cancelled.
FDGD has been a gold mine of revenue for this small town since its inception 18 years ago. Who thought of the idea, I’ll probably never know. But it was pure marketing genius and has brought significant revenue that the town depended upon in early spring. Up to 20,000 revelers flooded the streets the second weekend in March to watch the wacky events of this unique festival.
In many ways, FDGD is Nederland’s brand. Just earlier this winter, we visited Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We met someone else from Colorado, explaining we were from Nederland.
“That’s where they have that crazy festival, Frozen Dead Guy, right?”
It’s our identity.
But this pandemic wiped it right out along with all the other events around the U.S. right now. A casualty of a virus that seems unstoppable right now.
We do continue to go for our walks with our dogs. That’s the beauty of living on a desolate dirt road. “Social distancing” is the norm when walking around the neighborhood, only rarely running into a neighbor or two with their dogs. Other than not going to work in Boulder, life doesn’t seem to much different.
But, what I worry about most is the small businesses. The Cross Cut Pizzeria. The Rustic Moose gift shop. I know the big box stores like Target and Wal-mart will survive. But what of those local businesses that depended on that revenue from the festival?
It’s not just the loss of the festival, but the loss of business in general. I suspect that most other residents are like me, hunkered down in our log cabin.
It’s at times like these, that I think we need to band together to help out our town. We don’t have to jeopardize our health, but maybe just get a pizza to go?
We need to bond together to do what we can to help our neighbors and our town. Together, we can get through this.