Stronger together: Businesses play key role in health crisis

Jeff Kuhr

Mesa County Public Health usually offers in its monthly columns resources and tips to promote health in the workplace. Instead of providing more suggestions, I’d like to offer my thanks for what’s already been done. 

In a mere month, life as we know it has been disrupted — all in the name of public health. Businesses across sectors are changing plans, adjusting operations and restructuring their work forces to prevent the spread of disease in our community. 

One of the great things about living in Mesa County is our thriving business community. No one has been affected more by these changes than small businesses. Some businesses have made the ultimate sacrifice in temporarily shuttering public operations. I’d be amiss to not recognize the effect this has had on owners and their employees.

Such essential services as emergency care, health care and grocery stores have employees who are working long hours on the front lines. By nature, this work poses increased risks for exposure, so I appreciate the steps employers take to keep employees safe while providing the services upon which residents depend. I also appreciate those employees who put in extra time and deal with unpredictable schedules as part of this effort.

Other employees work remotely, telecommuting for the first time. This has placed additional demands on our technological capabilities and changed how we interact with colleagues and clients.

As we work together to protect our physical health, I encourage you to look out for your mental health as well. Social isolation is difficult, especially combined with the stressors of running a business. Take time to virtually connect with friends and family, get some fresh air and establish some new routines. If it all feels like it’s too much, the Colorado Crisis Line offers, free confidential, professional, around-the-clock support. Call (844) 493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255.

If you have questions or are looking for guidance about the coronavirus and COVID-19, visit our website located at https://health.mesacounty.us/covid19/. If you’re in search of community resources to assist you or your employees, call 211 for a connection to a statewide database that can assist you with finding food, housing, child care, health services, crisis counseling and financial support.   

COVID-19 has changed the face of public interactions and service delivery. I’d like to thank each and every one of you for the tough decisions you make to flatten the curve.
I know we’ll get through this difficult time together and come out stronger as a community.