Dealing with the Coronavirus hardships locally

Families, volunteers, and the community helping others with food and resources

By Esmee Halsted

With the introduction of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the pandemic will likely come to an end sometime next year. However, the Coronavirus has caused much heartache, leaving families without financial resources and a tragic 333,000 deaths in the United States. Many Americans have lost their loved ones, including myself with recent loss of my grandmother who died from COVID-related complications. Still, our community has come together by doing their part and helping others by organizing food relief and following COVID procedures at home. Two community members, Cammy Doolittle and Chris Current, have put in the work to keep our community healthy, just like so many others.

The best way to stop the spread of Coronavirus is to follow safety guidelines as an individual. Cammy and her family have done just that. With medical concerns in the family, Cammy made the decision to be extra careful. The Doolittle family has been socially distancing themselves by keeping their quarantine bubble within the family. When they leave the house, they wear masks and maintain social distancing. To limit exposure Cammy chooses an online school for her kids, she uses grocery apps and pick up, and her family does not eat out. Cammy’s reason for being so careful during the pandemic are as follows.

“I am cautious because of being my dad’s caregiver. My mom and stepdad are high risk. And I’m worried for my kids because my eldest was in the ICU and my youngest is still very young. I’m hoping that we won’t get the Coronavirus and that it will help decrease the spread of COVID.”

The Coronavirus has put a strain on families, meaning many people are going hungry and or having financial difficulties at this time. As such Chris Current and other volunteers are helping with food relief all over Boulder and Gilpin County. Volunteers either deliver food or pick up food to distribute. As part of the Nederland Food bank, this service existed before COVID. However, with the pressing circumstances, they went from serving 60 households a week to roughly 180 households a week and they stretched their reach to other communities. Those volunteers drop off food in Gold Hill on Wednesday, Jamestown on Friday, and on Saturdays they serve Nederland. While doing so, they follow COVID safety procedures. The majority of food that is given out is collected from a Community Food Share in Louisville , a partner with the Nederland Food Pantry. Otherwise, they shop at grocery stores for food to give away. Individual donations help tremendously as well.

Chris Current mentioned other incredible volunteers, “Tim, John, and Tad have been volunteering since March – they are dedicated and kind.” Approaching his work with a sense of humility he says, “I don’t think we are going above and beyond at all. Just doing what we can to help folks have food and resources, and distributing them in the safest way we can. We’re doing nothing new in what is the new normal right now.”

With 2020 coming to an end, it is important to celebrate those who have helped out the community in this trying time. Among them are Cammy Doolittle and Chris Current as well as many other people who have stepped up to stop the spread of the virus and help others. As we approach the New Year 2021, it will be imperative to continue community support and involvement. Thanks to all of you who go above and beyond!

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