Leadville Sees First COVID-19 Vaccines
Christmas Comes Early at 10,200’
By Kathy Bedell © Leadville Today
No matter what, in the end, it’s a Christmas miracle. At least that’s the way I see it as a journalist who has covered news for more than 30 years in Leadville Today.
At this point in the story, the headlines could read a lot differently. Quite honestly, I’ve been holding my breath for the past nine months, wondering when the first call from Lake County’s Chief Medical Officer or Coroner about the first COVID-19 related fatality in America’s highest city would come in. Fortunately, that has not happened.
So when Dr. Lisa Zwerdlinger sent Leadville Today the picture of her receiving the first COVID-19 vaccine in Leadville from Lake County Public Health Director Colleen Nielsen, it triggered a flood of emotions and thoughts. But on this Christmas Eve, there’s truly only one that rises to the top: LOVE.
Somebody once said that love means believing the best about someone, especially in times such as these. Thankfully, Leadville has made it this far in the pandemic without any deaths. And that first vaccine is truly a milestone, not only in preventing a deadly virus but in possibly mending many of the other wounds left behind in the battlefields of COVID-19.
In fact, make no doubt about it, some working relationships in this community will not survive the Coronavirus. It’s been a bad mixture of science and medicine, and power and politics. Some professionals have already left positions just recently created in the past nine months. Behind the scenes, it’s been complicated and messy.
But guess what?! Global pandemics are chaotic by their very nature. And not everybody is prepared for the pressure nor has the management experience to execute a plan.
However, in times like these, leaders do rise to the top and believing the best about people came to mind many times as the situation unfolded. On more than one occasion, a plethora of professional courtesy was extended to questionable decisions, trumped only by not wanting to contribute to someone’s emotional meltdown during a public Zoom meeting. In a small town, the tenents when dealing with friends and neighbors hold best when wanting a good relationship to survive a bad situation. It’s been tough and not everyone may survive, professionally.
But if success is measured by the fact that not one person has died in Lake County since this whole nightmare began, then Leadville has won. If success is measured by being able to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to your family and friends in person, through a mask, or by phone, because they are STILL ALIVE, then Leadville has won. If the Lake County medical providers who have put their lives on the line everyday since March are able to receive and administer the vaccine to frontline workers and others, then Leadville has won.
Over 300,000 Americans did not win. And the ripple effect of those losses will be felt by millions of people this holiday season, some of whom live right here.
It’s the season for believing the best in the people. Because that’s a big part of what love is; it’s believing the best about a doctor, believing the best about a nurse, believing the best about a restaurant owner, a bartender, a grocery store worker, or a friend who is also a journalist! Most certainly, this Christmas, love is about believing the best about living in Leadville Today.
Much heartfelt gratitude to all who have helped Leadville and Lake County make it this far in the war against COVID-19. It’s not over yet, but many, many thanks for all the battles you’ve fought so far for this mountain community!
How To Get A Vaccination in Leadville Today
On Tuesday, Dec. 22 Lake County Public Health Agency received its first round of a limited allocation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine and began vaccinating frontline and health care workers that same day. The plan completely depends on pending vaccine delivery confirmation from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). Lake County is using the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, and public health will be coordinating all of the scheduling, distribution, and reporting through the state-approved COVID Vaccination Provider Program.
CDPHE’s vaccine distribution plan is separated into three main phases. Here is the proposed Lake County Vaccine Plan & Timeline
- Phase 1 – December 2020: begin vaccination of healthcare workers & front line responders.
- Phase 2 – Spring 2021: begin vaccination of essential workers & high-risk persons.
- Phase 3 – Late Spring/Early Summer 2021: begin vaccination of the general public.
If members of the public are interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in the future, they are encouraged to make an appointment with their primary care provider.
Community Meeting About Leadville Vaccines
Christmas Mass at Annunciation Church
The Mass schedule for Holy Family Parish includes four options for one of the holiest days for Catholics in Leadville Today. Attendees should be advised that public health restrictions are in place at historic Annunciation Church with all persons required to wear masks, adhere to the social distancing measures in place and be willing to wipe down their pew with a disinfectant cloth provided by ushers at the end of the church service.
Father Rafael Rico-Torres moved church services inside in November after months of conducting Mass in the parking lot of St. Joseph’s Church during the spring, summer and fall months of the pandemic.
Parishioners and visitors are encouraged to plan ahead for Christmas and New Years’ church services as they are usually well-attended. The schedule is as follows.
What’s Cooking for Christmas
It’s a holiday week which means extra folks in town and hopefully a chance for local eateries to make up for the business they’ve lost due to the restrictions which remain in place by local public health officials concerning capacity, delivery, etc. Most Leadville restaurants will be open and ready for business in the days ahead. Check their social media platforms for their latest specials, hours, etc.
However, for Friday, Dec. 25 be sure to plan ahead. Christmas Day the options can be slim in America’s highest city. Fortunately, there is one very delicious choice available with the Build A Holiday Meal menu from The Silver Llama located in downtown Leadville. Merry-makers can choose from a variety of fresh-made items for their holiday table. This marketplace will also be open on Christmas Day from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. and is located in the Sayer-McKee Plaza.
A White Christmas On Harrison Avenue