Bridge competition returns to club where Colorado’s first COVID-19 death was reported
COLORADO SPRINGS – All COVID-19 returns are important, but an opening that just happened may have additional significance. Colorado’s first reported death from the virus and one of the first outbreaks was linked to a card tournament at Colorado Springs Bridge Center. Other deaths followed. “We had to shut down due to the pandemic for 481 days,” club vice president Howard Donaldson said. The center has just reopened and the club members are back at the bridge tables.
“We lost friends, it was very, very traumatic,” club member Roger Williams said. He and his wife Murlene also fell ill. “We heard COIVD, probably while playing bridge. Despite the negatives, he said: “We missed it during the time it was closed.”
The memories of the other deceased club members are both fond and a motivation for many returning players. “It’s always hard to think about the people we’ve lost,” said Phoebe Lostroh, a member of the bridge club.
Security protocols are in place for the reopening. “We are determined to come back even stronger than before,” said Donaldson. There is disinfectant at each table, the ventilation system checked, and a full vaccination is required for each participant.
The post-pandemic plan also includes inviting the community to come and play bridge. “We want to teach. We want to organize more bridge sessions.” The goal is not only to survive the COVID crisis, but also to come back stronger. Williams simply said: “We are delighted to be back.”