Updated: Mar 26, 2020
Welcome to the new reality that most of us are facing due to the COVID-19 outbreak. With the virus sweeping its way through the United States, death tolls and positive cases are continuing to grow. This global pandemic has caused all areas of life to alter at a minute's notice. Especially for the ski community, resorts are prioritizing safety measures as a result of the contagious country-spreading virus.
The End of the 2019-2020 Ski Season
The President has issued many press releases ordering everyone to stay home, self-quarantine, and practice social distancing. Personally, I thought that skiing would've been a great escape from the global meltdown, but most ski resorts have been shut down and closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 season. While all of us are unsure when the COVID-19 shut downs will be over, we hope that we can return to fresh powder and blue sky ski days in the future.
The Closure Breakdown
At first, major ski resorts took preliminary precautions but as the virus progressed, more aggressive actions were taken to ensure the safety of visitors. Previously, Vail Resorts advised skiers to practice social distancing on the mountains and traveling with their friends and family only. They also prohibited large gatherings of people and stopped selling food in mountain lodges. Even with these measures, stronger actions were needed to control and limit the spread of COVID-19.
On Sunday, March 22nd, Vail Resorts closed 15 ski mountains throughout North America. Closures included popular mountains such as Beaver Creek, Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, and many more. This decision was hard for both employees and skiers but it is necessary to preserve the health of everyone.
Later on, the rest of the ski resorts in the United States were shut down due to COVID-19 and the directions of politicians. Hopefully, these measures helped to flatten the curve of coronavirus cases and we can look forward to next ski season.
Too Close for Comfort
My home mountain, HoliMont, was closed soon after a woman tested positive for the coronavirus. She was at the mountain at the same time as my family and I. We decided it would be best to self quarantine for 14 days following our visit to the mountain. To be very honest, I was quite freaked out after hearing the news in the mountain press release. I felt this experience made all of the news very, very real and I was terrified! I actually had a dream that I touched a door handle and it was so realistic that I got out of bed at 4 am to wash my hands for 20 seconds.
Fortunately, we did not experience any symptoms after the end of the quarantine period. I hope that all necessary precautions are helpful in preserving the health of everyone in this country and throughout the world. Until this is over, we must prioritize our health and not lose hope that we will return to the mountains once again. Stay safe!