Opinion | Bruce Butler: My hope for Summit County in 2022 | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Bruce Butler: My hope for Summit County in 2022

Bruce Butler
Common Sense Conversations

As this is my final column before the New Year, I wanted to think a little retrospectively about 2021 and share my hopes for Summit County, and beyond, in 2022.

First and foremost, I hope we can finally move beyond the politics, propaganda and paranoia as well as the civil rights and personal and economic destruction of COVID-19 and its fraternity row of offspring variants in 2022. The reality is we will have COVID-19 variants until the end of time. We cannot continue to isolate, separate, scare, threaten, marginalize and perpetuate economic insecurity over a virus that has joined the ranks of the flu and common colds as a perennial seasonal menace.

Like the majority of Summit County, I will continue to hedge my risk against serious infection by getting an annual flu/booster shot, which I suspect will become a one-in-the-same combination shot. I hope more attention will be dedicated to therapeutics, which are really the key to managing COVID-19 into the future. Two years of pandemic pandemonium has undermined emergency order credibility beyond anybody’s pre-pandemic imagination and wrought untold damage on the mental, physical, emotional and behavior health of many in Summit County and across the world. Enough is enough!

Along the same lines, I pray that we can let kids go back to being kids. Summit County is ahead of many other jurisdictions around the country, but let’s ensure kids get back in the classroom full time, lose the masks that spread as many germs as they capture on a typical second grader’s face, allow sports and other extracurricular activities to return to pre-pandemic normal, and finally put remote and blended learning out to pasture except for those who affirmatively choose this option.

I hope for a snowy start to 2022, not just because I enjoy skiing and because snow is vital to our visitor-driven economy, but because it is essential to shortening the length and severity of fire season, vital to water supplies across the western states and beneficial for the environment. I encourage all Summit County residents to be good stewards of the environment, but no more costly rules and regulations please.

For those who regularly follow my columns, you know how vital I believe it is to improve Summit County’s Interstate 70 infrastructure as it is quickly becoming a serious safety problem and an impediment to further economic growth and development. I very much hope for progress on highway interchanges 203 in Frisco and 205 in Silverthorne in 2022.

I hope our local elected leaders will renew efforts to work with the local business community to implement creative workforce housing ideas that enable local employers to hire and retain the staff they need, and help provide our local workforce the housing stability they desperately want. I also pray the ineptitude of Washington, D.C., and the Federal Reserve Board will not further exacerbate inflation and lead the economy into recession. Perhaps, in the midst of all the uncertainty, Summit County can focus on opportunities for further economic diversification?

Most of all, I hope the Broncos find a long-term quarterback in 2022, the L.A. Dodgers finish in last place and the Colorado Rockies afford me the opportunity to watch meaningful games in September. With each new season, hope springs eternal, but I pray that I will see the Rockies win a World Series before I depart this earth. I can dream, can’t I?

In closing, Summit County is very fortunate to be located in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, but remember it is our strong sense of community that has always set us apart. Serving others and standing up for individual freedom, liberty and human dignity are essential to who we are as a county and a nation. I want to extent my personal thanks to the men and women in our armed forces and their families for their sacrifice on our behalf and to our local first responders for keeping us safe and secure.

As we have just completed Advent, let’s commit to focusing on hope, joy, peace and love as we reconnect with family, friends, faith and community in 2022. My best wishes to you for a happy, healthy and meaningful new year.

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