What You Do When You’re in Isolation

04/15/2020

Southwest Colorado residents are entertaining themselves with cocktail hours over Zoom and costume theme days over Facebook. We explore the creative ways we’re having fun together apart.

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THERE IS NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT THE CORONA VIRUS. BUT, IN THESE TRYING TIMES, LAUGHTER MIGHT BE JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED. THANKS FOR WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK, BROUGHT TO YOU BY ANIMAS MOUNTAIN MORTGAGE. I’M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE. AMIDST THE DEVASTATING IMPACTS OF THE CORONAVIRUS THROUGHOUT SOUTHWEST COLORADO, DURANGOANS — NOT SURPRISINGLY — ARE USING SOCIAL MEDIA HUMOR TO STAY GROUNDED. DURANGOTANGS ARE KEEPING IT FUN, FUNNY AND FUNKY IN ORDER TO "STAY TOGETHER WHILE APART.”  FOR EXAMPLE — SOME GO OUTSIDE AND HOWL NIGHTLY AT 8 PM.* OTHERS CLAP BECAUSE THEY CARE ABOUT OUR FRONTLINE.  FRIENDS AND FAMILIES TOAST VIRTUALLY TO CELEBRATE SPECIAL OCCASIONS LIKE 50TH ANNIVERSARIES. NEIGHBORS ARE DISPLAYING FRIENDLY TEDDY BEARS IN THEIR WINDOWS FOR TEDDY BEAR HUNTS WHILE AARON STEVENSON’S “SOCIAL DISTANCING ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS” SEND A NOT-SO-FRIENDLY REMINDER TO BACK UP. UKELELE MUSICIANS ARE JAMMING AT AN ONLINE FESTIVAL — AND THERE’S EVEN AN OPEN MIC FACEBOOK PAGE THAT SPOTLIGHTS LOCAL ARTISTS WHO WANT TO SHARE SONGS WITH A VIRTUAL AUDIENCE. THERE’S ONE LOCAL SOCIAL MEDIA GROUP IN PARTICULAR THAT BECAME AN OVERNIGHT VIRAL SENSATION. IN FEWER THAN 3 WEEKS, THE CORONATINE COSTUME CLUB FACEBOOK GROUP IS MORE THAN 2,000 STRONG, WITH MEMBERS LIVING AS CLOSE AS THE FOUR CORNERS AND AS FAR AWAY AS INDIA AND CHINA.  IT ALL GOT STARTED WHEN WE-FILL OWNER, CRIT SALAZ, WAS IN TEARS WHEN THE PANDEMIC FORCED HER TO CLOSE HER STORE.   IN AN EFFORT TO TURN HER FROWN UPSIDE DOWN, SALAZ’S HUSBAND, EUGENE, SUGGESTED A FUN DIVERSION —  AND THE FACEBOOK GROUP WAS BORN.  ORIGINALLY,  THEY THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FUN TO CHALLENGE THEIR FRIENDS TO DRESS UP IN WHATEVER THEY HAD IN THEIR HOUSE, BUT THE GROUP QUICKLY GREW BEYOND THEIR CONTACTS TO NEARLY 2,000 MEMBERS OF ALL AGES. MEMBERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO “GET OUT OF YOUR PAJAMAS, WASH THEM, AND HAVE SOME FUN!” WHILE PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING. BUT SOME DURANGOANS HAVE TAKEN THE DRESS UP CHALLENGE TO THE NEXT LEVEL BY WEARING THEIR COSTUMES WHEN THEY'RE OUT AND ABOUT ON THEIR ESSENTIAL ERRANDS. THERE’S A DAILY THEME  TO KEEP THE CREATIVITY FLOWING- SUCH AS FREE-FOR-ALL MONDAY, ALBUM-COVER TUESDAY, MOVIE-POSTER WEDNESDAY, BOOK-CHARACTER THURSDAY, TIE-DYE FRIDAY, CARTOON-CHARACTER SATURDAY AND MUSTACHE SUNDAY. EXTRA POINTS AWARDED IF YOU POSE WITH A PET, OR PLACE A “THANK YOU SIGN” FOR FRONTLINE WORKER IN YOUR PICTURE. ALTHOUGH SALAZ IS STILL DEVASTATED ABOUT CLOSING HER SHOP, SHE SAYS THE GROUP HAS PROVIDED A LOT OF HEALING LAUGHTER AND HAS SERVED AS A MUCH-NEEDED DISTRACTION. IF YOU WANT TO TAKE PART IN THE COSTUME SHENANIGANS, SEARCH FACEBOOK FOR “CORONATINE COSTUME CLUB.”  IF YOU WANT TO SUPPORT WEFILL AND OTHER DURANGO BUSINESSES, YOU CAN BID OR BUY ITEMS FROM “THE SHARE THE LOVE” ONLINE AUCTION NOW THROUGH APRIL 26 AT DOWNTOWNDURANGO.ORG/ONLINESTORE. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE. THANKS FOR WATCHING THIS EDITION OF THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK.

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