I commend Telluride civic leaders and business owners for requiring masks and reinforcing physical distancing to mitigate the spread of COVID. Although not a year-round Telluride resident, I've been an owner for 10 years and regular visitor and business patron for 15 years and am proud of Telluride's leadership. Despite this, I am profoundly disappointed to see so many people not wearing masks and not distancing from each other. Knowing there can be transmission of COVID by people without symptoms, I wear a mask in public to protect you. As a COVID doctor, I am tired of seeing patients die, and I'm tired of seeing them die with only one family member at their bedside, away from their homes. I've taken care of young patients who are otherwise healthy and fit who became critically ill, and middle aged people who have been on life support for weeks. I don't want anyone else to go through this illness.

When you love Telluride for beautiful outdoors, a charming town and great food, please remember the terrible position you put the essential worker in who is tending trails, cleaning houses, and preparing and serving your food when your actions put them at risk. They may feel comfortable asking you to put on your mask or step back, but they may not and fear retribution. I implore us all to do the right thing and protect each other. We all deserve it.

Eileen Barrett, MD, MPH