Openings & Closings

8th Street Pedestrian temporary bridge now open!

Lots of closures going on – see the City of Golden’s website as well as my COVID-19 Resources for Goldenites page for details.

During this time, it’s important to find some positive ways we can stay healthy during the pandemic and anxiety about turbulent financial times (See more thoughts on staying healthy here).

The 8th street trail pedestrian temporary bridge is now open! This heavily-used trail goes from Clear Creek and the Community Garden and dog park up to the north neighborhoods and Mitchell Elementary. It has been closed since January.

Also, most city neighborhood parks remain open for outdoor recreation, even as the Golden Community Center and Tony Grampsas are closed.

Cheers,

BilFish, BSN, RN, CHPN

—William “BilFish” Fisher – Candidate for Golden City Council Ward 4

Special Election Reminder: Mail-only election, ballots to be mailed week of April 6th (must be returned by April 28th). Email bill@williamfisher.com and visit www.WilliamFisher.com to learn more and get involved.

COVID-19 Response: Open Letter to Golden City Council and Manager

UPDATE 3/13/20 6pm: City of Golden announces closure of Golden Community Center and other facilities. www.GuidingGolden.com now online with City’s COVID-19 response and updated closures.

UPDATE: 3/13/20 4pm: Since sending my letter to City Council, the City has agreed to create a section on GuidingGolden.com with COVID-19 information and the city’s response (not yet up as I write this). Mayor Weinberg has also sent out a thoughtful email this afternoon which I encourage everyone to read.

Note: The following letter was sent Friday March 13th to the City Council and Manager only after directly engaging Councilors, the City Manager, the Manager of the GCC and staff at the GCC over the past week via email and in person.

Mayor, City Councilors and City Manager Slowinski,

I am writing to encourage you to consider additional communication, education, outreach, and action. And I encourage you to take action now. 

For those who may feel this is “still developing” and that we need to wait to learn more…  The virus was reported in Seattle nearly a month ago. Colorado cases have more than quadrupled this week alone. Colorado has reached #5 in the country for total reported cases.

Employers and Schools are taking action and making changes daily that affect us all. The following quote reinforces my experience as a community health RN regarding the urgency of need to act:

“A fire on your stove you could put out with a fire extinguisher, but if your kitchen is ablaze, that fire extinguisher probably won’t work,” said Dr. Carter Mecher, a senior medical adviser for public health at the Department of Veterans Affairs and a former director of medical preparedness policy at the White House during the Obama and Bush administrations. 

“Communities that pull the fire extinguisher early are much more effective.” 

(cited from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/us/coronavirus-deaths-estimate.html)

I know you are already asking about what we can do to help as a City. The limited information released so far after my previous emails does not feel adequate. Here are a few thoughts I have heard from residents and from my own background and experience.

Communicate – 

  • The City of Golden website has no information regarding City-specific responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. It simply re-posts County updates. Let’s share information on what city leaders are thinking and doing related to the pandemic.
  • What is City Council doing about this, and why is City Council going two weeks between meeting while this unfolds? And if the City Council cannot meet in person, how can Council make decisions if urgently needed?
  • The Golden Community Center website also has no mention of COVID-19. There was an email sent earlier this week. There is no information regarding thoughts on possible changes to programming at the GCC, which touches hundreds of Golden Residents daily. This becomes especially important as our children switching into Spring Break and remote learning mode.
    • The GCC has added small signs scattered around the facility about staying healthy. As of this morning, there are no warning signs at the two primary entrances directing people with symptoms to remain outside of the GCC. There was (again) no Weight Room Attendant today to help monitor, organize, and maintain hygiene in the facility. At one point there was only one empty spray bottle of equipment cleaning solution on the cubby countertop. Suggesting in an email that cleaning is increasing feels almost disingenuous in the face of these reports.

Education & Outreach

  • The community would benefit from a hosted (virtual or otherwise) discussion regarding COVID-19 and what the City is and can do about it, as well as what residents can and should be doing – and what we should not be worried about. 
  • Speaking of what we should be worried about:
    •  will our water supply remain clean, safe and uninterrupted? 
    • What if we have a snow storm, will we have capacity to plow the streets? 
    • How are Fire and Life Safety services preparing? 
    • What about trash and recycling, could this be affected? 
  • How can the GCC turn programming into sharing information to everyone we touch base with

Action

  • Let’s get creative – and let’s get going! Time truly = health risk.
  • How can the City support residents facing changes or loss of jobs and/or changes in education requiring children to be at home for what will be an undetermined amount of time?
    • JeffCo is releasing 80,000+ students into the community for an extended period of time, what impacts should we be considering? College students are also returning home.
  • How can we ensure appropriate staffing at GCC to support residents and remain as hygienic as possible?
  • Can we finally get the pedestrian path over 8th street to the north neighborhoods re-opened? Now more than ever, residents need ways to get outdoors and stay active and healthy.
  • Gather and share resources for people who may be struggling with food or physical or mental health issues. How can we support them as a community?
  • Financial – the concurrent financial crisis demands we review and begin considering thoughtful, measured changes and updates to our two-year budget cycle and planning.

I look forward to a more visible communication, education, outreach and action from City Council and our municipal government. I am ready to help, as are many residents, and we look forward to opportunities to stay engaged.


Regards,
BilFish

Bill Fisher, BSN, RN, CHPN Resident, City of Golden Ward 4

Staying Healthy in Golden (during a pandemic)

Update: Visit COVID-19 Resources for Goldenites for additional Resources

I hope this finds you healthy!
 
Someone said these past weeks “feel like quicksand.” The ground is shifting rapidly between the global financial shake-up and changing COVID-19 responses everywhere we turn: in our schools, work, health care, travel and governments. 
 
As some of you may know, I am a community health Registered Nurse (RN). My background is in clinical education and facilitating workforce oversight for TB screening and flu vaccinations, as well as direct care for Hospice patients.
 
In that vein, I’d like to share a few thoughts. . .
 

First, I’ve added COVID-19 Resource Links for Goldenites to my website and will update regularly. Let me know if you have resources I should include.
 

Become educated and push back against fear and rumors

Know what COVID-19 is, and what it is not. Take appropriate precautions to reduce transmission risk, and work to keep our finances and households secure.

DON’T… panic and join the mobs grabbing all the toilet paper 😉

 
 
As we acknowledge the depth of concern during this unsettling time, I encourage everyone to consider ways to maintain both Mental Health and Physical Health – for ourselves and our families. Loss of mental and physical health can be an unfortunate and unintended consequence of working to avoid illness during a viral outbreak.
 

And while we may have little direct control over the events affecting us, know that we can maintain control over our reaction and response to these events. 

 

Cabin Fever?

Let’s acknowledge the loss of both social engagement (e.g. school, concerts, work, clubs) and physical health options (e.g. canceled school sports, avoiding crowded exercise classes). 
 
Find ways to stay socially engaged. Take advantage when Spring weather provides opportunities to be outdoors. Use virtual and social media at their best to keep us connected with friends, family, and interest groups. Offer to volunteer to help others in need who may be isolated. Be patient, with yourself and with others. 
 
Epidemics and financial crises can trigger new-onset or exacerbations of mental health concerns including depression and anxiety – this is normal, please seek help (for example, through the Jefferson Center for Mental Health).

 

 “It is safe to exercise, despite concerns about coronavirus,” concludes James Turner, professor of health science, in the New York Times. 

Exercise, in fact, will probably lessen the risk of an infection, Turner says.

 
Be creative in staying physically active. Determine if the Golden Community Center or other exercise location is right for you – and get out there! Don’t let COVID-19 be an excuse to avoid maintaining physical health. Stock up on health foods and maintain an appropriate diet. See your providers for regular medical and dental health check-ups. Yes, all the normal stuff. Don’t let it slip!
 
Finally, the Golden Community Center truly is central to our community life, interacting with hundreds of residents daily. I am encouraging the City and GCC to take the lead as a source for trusted information, inspiration, education, and opportunity for engagement – both social and physical. I look forward to knowing the GCC staff are maintaining the highest level of hygiene precautions and providing education and resources for residents and families.
 
Let’s face this challenge together as a community, stay as healthy as possible, be kind to each other, and please reach out for support if you need assistance.

 

Cheers,


Bill Fisher, BSN, RN, CHPN


—William “BilFish” Fisher – Candidate for Golden City Council Ward 4