As I took the dogs out for their lunchtime walk. It felt hot. Nederland hot.
In truth, the thermometer reached 74 degrees. However, consider that a typical summer day in Nederland rarely exceeds 80 degrees, it was in fact hot for mid-May.
Breaking out my sandals and shorts, I could only imagine how hot it was down below in Boulder. I would soon find out.
Like many foothills residents, I limit my trips to Boulder these days. Working from home full-time, there is little need (or desire) to go to Boulder.
But this day, Bryon needed to go pick up a prescription at the pharmacy. One of the things our tiny town of 1,500 lacks is an actual pharmacy.
Wanting a reprieve from our housebound life, I asked, “Can I come with you?”
“Sure, I’ll start the car. You can meet me out front.”
Driving down the canyon, life felt normal for a moment. The vibrant blue sky, the burbling creek and the towering granite walls of the canyon were all familiar to me.
Even the flaggers and cones of the never-ending road construction made it seem like a typical day from the last two years.
As we reached the bottom of the canyon, I spied another scene that I’ve seen many times in Boulder during a hot summer day.
But this time, it seemed down right horrifying.
Young, college-age people, donning bikinis and swim trunks, packed in along Boulder Creek. Shoulder to shoulder, young women and men perched on rocks, stood in the creek, sat along the banks.
The mob of people seemed never-ending — there had to have been at least 300 or more people.
And not a one of them wearing a mask or standing the requisite six feet apart. Laughing, drinking, splashing water on each other.
Will this soon be the epicenter of a massive Covid-19 outbreak in Boulder?
As we surveyed the scene, I quickly rolled our car window up, not wanting the spread of this sea of humanity to enter our car.
What are they thinking?
And that’s just it, they aren’t thinking.
I get it. We’re now going on two months of life-altering behavior. Two months of being isolated from friends, from fun at parties, restaurants or movies. The burden of this pandemic hanging around our necks can just seem too much.
It feels like summer, and people have had enough. They just want to have a day at the creek to forget about the world we’re living in now.
I posted the photos I took on our local Nedheads Facebook forum — I got over 200 comments. Many who were disgusted, but others cheered on the rebelliousness of the young people.
“Good for them! This whole thing is overblown — it’s no worse than the flu!”
There are days that I think, what would I be doing today if there was no pandemic? Would I be shopping looking for a pair of fun sandals? Would I be going out to dinner with my husband? Off on a romantic road trip?
I have many friends who work in service industries — restaurants, stores, hair salons. My heart breaks for them and the financial struggles they endure.
But the reality is this virus isn’t going anywhere soon. And the scene at the creek will only prolong our isolation and inability to resume a “normal” life.
I wondered how city officials would handle this with summer fast approaching and months of hot summer weather.
Today, I got my answer. Eben G. Fine park has been closed indefinitely, and police were monitoring the area.
We must face the fact, that like it or not, the times we live in demand our collective sacrifice. Though we can live in denial, it is our reality. And pretending that life is anything different can have horrific consequences.
I only hope that a moment’s indiscretion for people at the creek, doesn’t lead to a spread of the virus two weeks from now.