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Despite this we stay for April 14, 2011

by Carol Dunn
Recently the Denver Post published an article saying that the least healthy place to live in Colorado is in Huerfano County. Folks, is this news to any of us? Let’s face it, it’s dangerous living around here. We have mine tailings, radioactive stuff, radon gas, lakes, people who will shoot each other over water rights. We have guys whooping it up on bulldozers, backhoes and skid-steers pushing various things around, including an occasional river. We have tall trees with big limbs that can fall on our heads. We have mountains to climb during thunderstorms. We have poisonous mushrooms that look like the ones in the grocery store. We have wild berries and fruits that do not come with safety labels or instructions. We have thousands of antlered creatures who think they own the place. Ditto the bears. We have allergies. We have dust. We have toads which will make you froth at the mouth if you bite them.
Those things aside, the study only used certain criteria, for instance how old you are when you die. The other thing they did was ask people how they feel – good, fair or poor. Now, I don’t know about you, but if my dishwasher quits running the day these guys call up and ask me how I’m feeling, I’m going to hang up on them, which would, in effect, result in my survey being marked “poor mental health.” I suspect that on the day they called around Huerfano County to ask how we feel, we were having one of those vile, 80-mile-per-hour winds, and no one was in much of a good mood. They could call anytime during the year, and it’s likely the wind will be blowing, so I believe there is a connection.
To bolster my theory, please note that our neighbor Las Animas County also scored near the bottom of the list for healthy places to live. OK, maybe wind doesn’t drive all Coloradans crazy, but it apparently does a number on us down here in the boonies.
Oh sure, Douglas County, considered the healthiest place to live, is a nice place to visit. But do any of us really want to live there? And it is nowhere near as windy as Huerfano County, which is like a badge of courage for those of us who refuse to leave. And really, I’ll bet most of us feel pretty good most of the time. Let’s keep it our secret.