Yes, indoor only.  It was just rescinded today, May 14, 2021, for level green counties.  There has been a statewide mask mandate since July 2020, but I think my county may have had one sooner than that. Masking compliance is 100% indoors.  I’ve been impressed with compliance.  Outdoors: I never wore a mask outdoors and I think that is what I observed in general since the beginning of the pandemic.  However, when hiking on popular trails, people would mask at trailheads, especially last year at the height of the pandemic, and when you couldn’t physically distance on a trail.  This year, we would take them just in case, but would rarely use them.  I would see the occasional person or two wearing a mask outside in my neighborhood, but this was rare.


Cherry Creek District Schools shut down in March 2020. 

Elementary: Return to full in-person in August 2020 (thank you Lord!!). Went to full-time remote when we hit a peak in November and December – with the holidays, I think we were full remote maybe around 3-4 weeks.  Then it went back to full-in person after winter break in January (Jan 3 or 4?  can’t remember).  In-person is masked indoors, 3 feet apart as much as possible; outdoor no masks.  You had to choose between full on-line or full remote over the summer. 

Middle/High School: Hybrid learning with 2 in-person days starting August 2020, and three “”asynchronous”” days, depending on your cohort divided by last names.  They also went full remote during that COVID peak. When they returned from winter break, they were still hybrid, but with 2 in-person days, 2 “”asynchronous”” learning days, and one synchronous learning day where you’d be on zoom almost the whole day with both cohorts.  AFter spring day, it was full-in person learning.

We are currently (as of May 2021) full in-person for all!! YAY!

For private schools, I think my parish’s school shut down initially, and then opened back up in August 2020, similar to Cherry Creek schools. 


There was also this Colorado Dept of Public Health 5 star program that was started last year.  If you met certain criteria, you could operate a higher capacity.  We live in Arapahoe county, but neighboring Douglas County gave restaurants those greenhouse/igloo type things to eat outside in the winter.  We ate in those a few times and loved it.

Maybe during parts of the pandemic there were exceptions for outdoor dining.  I know we felt more comfortable eating outside…

Religious Gatherings

Right around spring break (March) 2020, religious services came to a stop.

I think it was May or early summer that they resumed services but limited it to 10 families per Mass, they held like 12 Masses on Sunday.  Was really incredible how they pulled it all together.  I was stalking the website and signed up asap – my husband who is not religious AT ALL and NEVER goes to church went just to do something “”normal”” again. They did have capacity restrictions, we have to wear a mask, sitting every other pew, one family per pew.  You have to get tickets during the week.  This upcoming weekend will be the first weekend with no tickets!!

Movie Theaters

Some theaters are open, socially distanced seating with masks.  My husband took the kids to see Abominable at the theater on President’s Day and he had a hard time finding a theater showing a kid-appropriate movie.  Some theaters have closed down since the beginning and haven’t opened up yet. They are open for private theater rentals and I have gotten an email for those.

Looks like every other row is available for seating now.

Other Important Things

So much to tell.

First and foremost: schools.  I feel extremely fortunate to live in Cherry Creek School district.  They worked with the public health department early to establish data-based metrics, executed on them, and it’s been a roaring success.  Hats off to our superintendent, Scott Siegfried, who got it right despite all the pressure he must’ve been under. 

In the beginning, so much was unknown that we avoided a lot.  My husband and I are microbiologists by training (bacteria, though, not viruses :-)), and I think this helped us navigate the risks a little better.  I can expand on that during an interview. 

We’ve had a lot of ups and downs – my parents had health issues that forced me to travel, and my husband’s mom did, too (he traveled at the beginning of the pandemic, and his mom passed away May 1, 2020, not COVID-related).  I brought my mom here over Christmas and it was great – until she fell due to a seizure and had a hospitalization here in CO.  I could write a book about that experience – had to take her to FL because Medicare didn’t pay for a rehab place here.  It all ended up okay.  My father also had a non-COVID hospital stay in December, when my mom was here (they are still married and live together).  It was all super stressful, and I really saw their decline, esp my mom’s mental decline, exacerbated due to social isolation.  My mom is 85 and my dad is 79 – thankful they are vaccinated and still kickin’ it!  But that has all been tough emotionally and very stressful.  My hats off to healthcare workers!

The one radiant bright spot for us has been our neighbors – we are four families, our family of five, and three families of four, with an additional family of four from down the street joining us occasionally.  We really didn’t know them prior to COVID.  When my husband had to travel due to his mom’s health in April 2020, we started hanging out outside, no masks, our kids started hanging out too…and we just gelled as a social unit when my husband came back.  It was like a quaranteam – sure it had holes in it, but most of us were home anyway and not going out.  We always hung out outside – every Friday, we have a happy hour, and in the colder months, we’d have a fire outside.  Pretty diehard!!  Just so much fun, and we’re lucky we get along so well!! 4th of July was like this 2-day crazy party, and we’re planning on doing a full-on block party this year.  If we didn’t have them, I really don’t know what our mental sanity would look like.  Perhaps we should have taken additional risks to get social stimulation.  I don’t know, but I thank God every day for our Hunters Hill Drive posse!!