Essential Workers

Essential workers remain busy in the midst of COVID-19

Photo courtesy of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

Essential workers remain busy in the midst of COVID-19

Dillon Sheehan, Staff Writer

DURANGO — Our nation is presently divided between people who are unable to work due to COVID-19 and those who are working overtime due to COVID-19.

Phoebe Ogden, my mother and General Manager at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Durango, Colo. is considered an essential worker. Ogden starts her day off by preparing to go to work like any other day, but now, she must take extra precautions to ensure she doesn’t get sick. She must have the proper supplies like hand sanitizer, gloves, and a face mask.

Inside the Holiday Inn, extra precautions have been taken as well.  Where open air used to exist, a plexiglass barrier at the front desk separating the guest and employee now fills the space.

Ogden created a detailed cleaning plan for the team to help protect against COVID-19. Before the pandemic, the hotel had 55 employees and after a lot of scaling down, there are nine employees. Other changes include shutting down the onsite restaurant Burger Theory, minimizing shuttles around town, and doing away with stay-over-cleaning for multiple night stays.  

Ogden says it’s important for her to be at work every day to help her staff and to make sure all safety procedures are being followed. She says she looks forward to the end of the pandemic and bringing back her team.