Dear Kim, I mean Governor Polis,

My apologies, but I seem to be mixing up my dictators. As I write this on the first day of November, I am angry.

I work with memory-impaired older adults, people that are especially dependent on regular visits and interactions with their loved ones / friends to maintain their mental health. However, they have been isolated in their rooms or our community for weeks / months, able to see those they need most only via Zoom or socially-distanced visits.

  • I am angry, because I had to watch the mental health of one resident deteriorate because she couldn’t see her family, or even get a haircut. Her family finally removed her from our community and took her to live with them. While I miss her, I am cheering and I am not angry that she is gone, because she is one less person whose mental health is not being ravaged by your “protection”.
  • I am angry, because you think it is only a haircut /style and that you are “protecting” them when your restrictions keep the beauty shops in our communities closed, but I remember years ago realizing that a haircut / style was SO important to my aunt that I would have stood on a street corner or cut any number of things out of my budget in order to give her a weekly haircut / style.
  • I am angry, because I watch another resident cry / weep more and more frequently as she misses and needs her family more and more with each passing day. Oh yes, I am angry since I am also watching her become thinner and thinner, because she is not eating near as much as she used to eat thanks again to the destruction cause by your “protection”.
  • I am angry, because I watch another resident have a socially-distanced visit with her husband (who used to visit her ALMOST.EVERY.SINGLE day) and then become inconsolable for hours since she does not understand why she comes back to our area instead of sitting with him, smiling / happy and contentedly resting her head on his shoulder. Do you want to see the picture? Do you even dare look at the picture of this real live person whose mental health is being ravaged by your “protection”?
  • I am angry, because I used to enjoy my work. I used to find it fulfilling to help them have pleasure and meaning throughout the remaining days, weeks, months, or years of their lives. Now I have to fight EVERY.SINGLE.DAY to counterbalance the ravages, the destruction to their mental health caused by your “protection”.
  • I am angry, because you and the Colorado Department of Health sit in your ivory towers of theory and tell us as well as the families of these fragile, vulnerable older adults how you are “protecting” them.
  • I am angry, because you have lost sight of the people. Your numbers, your regulations, your power, and your position have become far more important than the people you are “protecting”. Maybe they are being protected from covid (ONE disease), maybe not, but their quality of life is being ravaged, even destroyed.
  • I am angry, because I do not think you have the guts to come out of your ivory tower of theory and to look real life in the face like I do, day after day after day after day after day …
  • I am angry, because you tell us how you are “protecting” them. However, I see real life and I live real life and I know that one cannot stop living AND protect life.

In closing, there is one thing I am not angry about: I have had the opportunity to sign the “Recall Polis” petition. I do not know if it will succeed, but I do know that if you do not hear us now, you will hear us when it comes time to run for re-election. We, the people, have realized that you may call it protection, but we learned long ago that the mafia offers “protection” and it  looks very similar.

I pray for you, but know that I.WILL.REMEMBER,

Joy Davidson