Colorado’s COVID-19 Experience Part 3: Past & Future Plans

The Corona Insights team wanted to know how Coloradans were holding up during shelter in place, so we conducted a survey! We asked residents about a broad range of topics, including their overall well-being, challenges, concerns, community response, and others.

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As a part of our blog series recapping results from our COVID-19 Experience Survey, we wanted to examine what plans were disrupted by the pandemic and how soon Colorado residents felt they would be comfortable to return to various activities.

First, we asked respondents what travel plans, if any, they had to cancel due to COVID-19 crisis. Most Coloradans said the pandemic caused them to cancel at least one scheduled trip. About four in ten residents said they had to cancel travel for pleasure that required an airline flight. Almost one quarter of the state said they took an overnight recreational trip by car off their calendars.

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Colorado’s COVID-19 Experience Part 2: Community Response

The Corona Insights team wanted to know how Coloradans were holding up during shelter in place, so we conducted a survey! We asked residents about a broad range of topics, including their overall wellbeing, challenges, concerns, community response, and others.

All posts in this series:


As a part of our blog series recapping results from our COVID-19 Experience Survey, we wanted to take a look at how Colorado residents have been gauging the State and community response to the pandemic and see what residents themselves have been doing to help others.

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10 tips for facilitating your next Zoom meeting

If you live in Colorado, especially Denver, it is likely you will still be conducting the majority, if not all, of your team meetings virtually, even as some states and municipalities begin to chart their gradual paths to recovery.  

As we adjust to the new reality of virtual meetings as the new norm, we’ve been gathering some tips, tricks, and resources for all of you who are having to adjust to conducting meetings online and to developing a new facilitation skill set you never knew you had or needed.

Photo by Allie on Unsplash

3 classic facilitation tips that will optimize your virtual meeting (in other words, these always apply):

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Colorado’s COVID-19 Experience Part 1: How CO is Coping

The Corona Insights team wanted to know how Coloradans were holding up during shelter in place, so we conducted a survey! We asked residents about a broad range of topics, including their overall well-being, challenges, concerns, community response, and others.

All posts in this series:


This blog is the first in our series to present findings and insights from the data and our analysis. Check back here for deeper analysis of what Coloradans are thinking and doing in these strange times in addition to what residents plan to do as things start to return to normal.

Quality of Life During a Pandemic

One of the first goals of our survey was to establish a baseline of Coloradans’ wellbeing during these extreme circumstances. We asked respondents to rate their quality of life on a scale of 0 (not good at all) to 10 (great) right now, and retrospectively before the start of the COVID-19 situation. Unsurprisingly, the average quality of life score during COVID-19 pandemic dropped from a 7.8 to a 6.4, or by about 18%. Most Coloradans (63%) reported a decrease in their quality of life, but rural areas appear to have been the least impacted. Residents from rural counties only experienced a 13% drop on average. Almost half (43%) of respondents who said they lived outside of a city or town reported the same quality of life during the pandemic as before, compared to only 30% of the state overall.

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Are We “Flattening the Curve?”

For better or worse, I consider myself to be somewhat “anti-news.”  That doesn’t mean that I hide under a rock and pretend like nothing is bad (or good!) in the world, but I personally have a lot of trouble really understanding what is going on when information is filtered through someone else’s attempt to simplify a complex situation down so that everyone can understand it.

Trying to follow the COVID-19 situation is no different.  There are hundreds (thousands?) of news articles every day about how we’re doing, and a lot of it is contradictory.  How do you filter through all the noise and understand what’s truly going on?  I’d like to show one resource (among many) that I find to be helpful in drawing my own conclusions about the situation: Covidly.com.

Now, before we go any further, it’s important to acknowledge that this site doesn’t get around the issue that everyone’s having right now – poor data quality.  It pulls data from other sources around the world, so if the data coming in is flawed, it’s not able to correct for that.  But for a simple overview of what’s going on, it’s about as good of a source as people in the general public have at our disposal.

First, if all you want is a simple “how well are we doing,” each country is assigned a “health score” from 1 to 9 (where 1 = really bad and 9 = really good), and you can hover over the number to read the definition of each score. For the record, they have the U.S. at a “5” today, which isn’t great, but is a lot better than the “2” we were at a couple weeks ago. 

What I personally find to be very helpful, however, is…graphs!  (I know, try to contain your surprise that a numbers guy loves graphs.)  You can find graphs at both the national and state levels, and if you’re a true numbers geek like I am, there are customizations galore.  I won’t go through every chart, but here are a couple that I personally find to be helpful.

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Social Distancing: How Are We Doing?

One of the biggest challenges in tackling the COVID-19 situation has been the lack of accurate data about the situation.  While various models can be helpful to understand what’s going on and to forecast how things will play out, it has been very difficult for public health officials to fully understand how contagious the virus is, how deadly it is, and how it spreads.

It has also been difficult to get a feel for how well social distancing efforts have been working, but that is beginning to change through some interesting uses of data that already exist.  Google has, for years, collected location data through Google Maps users that forms the basis for its various traffic measurements and forecasts.  Now, Google has found a way of using that same data to create a “report card” of how well communities across the country are cutting down on their social distancing.

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Ideas for How to Help Your Community

Photo by Nina Strehl on Unsplash

One of the things that really stuck with me from school is research on helping behavior. There’s a lot of cute research out there showing that humans, from a young age, have a strong inclination to help others. Even animals will help other animals. Rats will help other rats, even if they do not interact with them and even if they have to give up chocolate! Right now is a really strange time for many of us. If you’re like me, you are a nonessential employee who can work from home. I know the best thing I can do for others right now is to follow social distancing guidelines. But I just feel a strong desire to help, like we all do in an emergency, so I’ve been trying to find creative ways to help support my community and those who don’t have the luxury of staying at home. Here are some ideas we’ve run across.

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It’s Time for the Ultimate Survey

Letting the Government Know That You Exist

I had an exciting moment a couple of weeks ago.  I walked home from work (ah, those pre-COVID days), opened the mailbox, and …

…The 2020 Census had arrived!

Now granted, I may find such things a little more exciting than average, because I’ve worked extensively with census data over the years and I’m acutely aware of the value of census data.  But you should also be excited, because this is where you let the government know that you exist, and as Woody Allen once said, “Eighty percent of success is just showing up”.

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Tips for staying sane in your home office

For as long as our firm has been around, we’ve almost always had at least one person working remotely. All of us started our careers in the Denver office, but as spouse’s jobs pulled people to different places, we have adapted to having a more dispersed team. Because of this, we were in many ways well prepared for the current situation.  (See our other blog about our work-from-home infrastructure.)

Because several of us have spent years working from our homes all day every day, we’ve tapped into our expertise to prepare these tips for those of you who are newer to the ongoing work from home experience. Working from home can be hard. It can be especially hard if you didn’t get to plan for it and are potentially also caring for (hiding from?) children while at home. However, since we may be working at home for a while, what can make it easier? Whether you are working from a beautiful home office or from your kitchen table while watching your kids, here are some things that have been helpful for us and might be helpful for you. And if you do end up having one of those days where you can’t remember if you showered, you ate peanut butter straight from the jar, etc., remember that tomorrow is another day.

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COVID-19 Impacts by Age Group in Colorado

Like most Coloradans, I’ve been checking the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s COVID-19 case counts webpage daily. And as a Gen Xer, I was struck by the proportion of cases among those of us in our 40s and 50s, which seemed higher than I’d expected based on the size of our cohort in the population. So, I grabbed Colorado’s 2020 population data from DOLA and made this graph. As I’d thought, Gen Xers have more than our share of COVID-19 cases, though so does everyone over age 30. Compared to older groups, there are way fewer cases among young people aged 0 to 19, and just slightly fewer for people in their 20s.

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