Dear Editor,

The state of Colorado gave the green light to allow its Colorado Welcome Center, Trinidad branch, to reopen June 16 after it’s doors were shut in mid-March due to coronavirus.

As a result the center’s 30-plus senior citizen volunteers were suddenly out of work with nothing but time on their hands.

I have volunteered at the center off and on for around five years and always enjoy meeting and greeting all of the out-of-state visitors. They are always grateful for any assistance we give them to help them find the most scenic, or quickest way to their destinations, or what Trinidad has to offer in hotel, restaurants and shopping accommodations.

As a Trinidad Chamber of Commerce office volunteer and two-time winner of its Ambassador of the Year award, it’s very healthy for me as a 75-year-old retired newspaper journalist to stay active and healthy and not become a couch potato.  

Thus when (administrators) called me to inform me that the state and city of Trinidad had decided to allow the volunteers to return to Welcome Center work, I was ecstatic and excited at the prospect.

I quickly made a beeline to the center, three blocks from where I live, only to be told that the state now requires that all Welcome Center volunteers must be 65-or-under to return to work. Since, according to them, anyone older than 65 is more susceptible to dying from coronavirus.

I believe that is age discrimination, even if I am not a salaried worker.

It doesn’t matter to the state that I am probably in better physical, mental and spiritual shape than 95 percent of the 60 to 65-year-olds in this country. Government bureaucrats continue to think with a one-size-fits-all mentality.

It doesn’t matter to them that Trinidad has reported no deaths from coronavirus, that I have experienced no virus symptoms. Since it’s a nationwide outbreak and every person’s immune system is different depending on how well they’ve taken care of their bodies over their lifetime.

I’ve never smoked, always drink in moderation and have never done any mind-altering drugs. My only addiction is collecting old toys, baseball cards, etc.

I cannot return to work at the Welcome Center, or chamber office. I believe I’m now more likely to get the virus because I’ll have no choice but to stagnate at home, reading and watching TV. And I can no longer be of service as one of its best volunteers.

I just want to be able to return to work helping people again without wearing a mask, which I only wear if required.

If I have any symptoms, I wouldn’t report to work. As a 42-year born-again Christian, I will always rely on Psalm 91 for God’s protection from any virus, or sickness. He has done a great job protecting me for 75 ½ years of good health.

Sincerely,

Mike Garrett

Trinidad

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