Be kind. You are so fortunate to be able to travel during such uncertain times, and our town thrives on tourists like you to be able to put money in our community. To be a worker on the frontlines, as I am a bartender and server in town, I am finding so much negativity being thrown in my direction that I am having a hard time trying to be kind in return.

Consider this: You have travelled to our majestic mountain town during a pandemic. Telluride is not operating like the same Telluride; we have new distancing guidelines, mask ordinances, constant sanitizing (so that you don’t get sick!) and scared workers. As a local talking to other locals, I have found that many have lost their jobs and or quit due to fear for their lives, and I don’t blame them! I’m scared every day I go to work. My anxiety goes through the roof, and I start worrying about how many people I will have an altercation with, especially about the proper way to wear a mask. C’mon people, this is not rocket science. If your mask doesn’t fit properly or moves when you talk so that your nose is exposed, then its time to go buy a new one. And it turns out you can go buy a new one, because you were able to afford a vacation in Telluride. Not only am I scared of the arguments and altercations, but I am scared for my life! I have to show up to work to pay my bills. I do not have the luxury to say no. When you come to me sneezing, mask below your nose or pull your mask down to talk, just know that I feel violated and hurt. I’m sad that you don’t have the human decency to provide a safe space for me when I provide so much for you.

And on one last note, please tip your bartenders, servers, baristas, gas station attendants, heck, anybody that is putting their life on the line for you to enjoy your vacation. I’ve served too many people as of late that have left me no tips or not very good ones. If you have the means to find yourself on vacation right now, then you have the means to spread the wealth. If everyone were to start treating each other with kindness and follow simple guidelines then we can continue to be that fun-loving, welcome-you-with-open arms, funky box canyon that you have come to know and love.

Peace, love, kindness and tips!

Molly Lawrence