Guest writer: Eli Crested Butte, Colorado
The corona-virus came to Crested Butte, CO quite quickly, as it did for many communities around the country and the world. One day I was working as a cat-ski guide in a beautiful backcountry location, and the next I was told that winter season was over.
Though, unlike many towns and cities in this world, here in CB we are used to dramatic population and pace of life shifts. Every spring and fall our community goes from a bustling resort town with countless tourists, to a quiet little locals-only mountain oasis. In many ways I consider myself very lucky to be used to this change, even though it came over a month early.
Until today, I was voluntarily quarantined in my house with my housemates, Jack, Bekah, Jewels, and our pup Gypsum. We were lucky to have a rotating cast of significant others and close friends that we had been in close contact with before the virus situation had evolved.
Jack and I started early on an exciting project, digging out and restoring an old snowmobile. We spent over a week researching, cleaning, and repairing it until it was in working order. During that time we made careful visits to the hardware store, the motorsports store, and my workplace to gather supplies and tools.
Jack and I are now proud owners of Ronie (short for Coronavictus), a beautiful Yahmaha Mountain Max 700. We’ve been keeping ourselves occupied by exploring new places to snowmobile and access backcountry skiing. We’ve gone out with some friends because it’s easy to social distance while riding separate snowmobiles or skinning up the skin track. Jack and I also started a new career as TikTok stars, centered around our ridiculous personalities and new-found love of being “sled-necks” (snowmobile-rednecks).
Overall, this pandemic hasn’t affected me or my family in any significant ways. I am lucky to have a salaried job where I can be put on many different projects without having to leave my house or interact with guests. I am still waiting to hear from the higher ups as to what I will be doing in this extended off-season, but I’m decently confident I will be able to work through the end of my contract.
My family is currently under shelter-in-place in California and I am the only child not in the house (which is a blessing and a curse). When I spoke to my elderly grandparents, their biggest concern is that their assisted living complex isn’t giving them enough options for meals. I am certainly glad that they are more worried about food options than passing away.
I think the hardest part of this pandemic has been the uncertainty that it has created in my life and my friends lives. Most of us work in the service industry and many have lost their jobs, it makes the questions of normal seasonal change harder to answer. Where will we live? What jobs can they get for the summer? Will there be enough tourists to support our local businesses? These are the questions that are in everyone’s head in Crested Butte.
But in the meantime my friends and I will continue to find pow-stashes and face-shots in our local backcountry spots, find creative ways to stay entertained, and try and get to the stuff we “didn’t have time for” during the hustle and bustle of the winter season.
The world needs more affection! Whether it’s your closest friends or a random stranger that you (used to be able to) interact with out in the world, there needs to be more giving and receiving affection. In our society ,affection can be confused with weakness, sexual stuff (hehe), or just plain weird.
In this time of quarantine, I have missed the affection I felt from my community here in Crested Butte. Small hellos on the town bus make me appreciate living here. Though at the same time, in this moment of my life I have seen, felt, and tried to give more affection than ever before.
Quarantine can be a time of reflection of yourself, it can be a reflection of who around you is giving you affection and if you are accepting it.
When you are able to receive affection, then you are able give it, usually in that order.
When you’re good at receiving, you can let affection uplift your mood and teach you about yourself.
A world where no-one was afraid of showing their affection for humankind, nature, and the events that move it all, we would see a cohesion between all forms of life. We would see big smiles, new friendship, and endless love. The beings of this world need affection and need to show it!