Parrott

Gov. Polis made history as the first openly gay governor in the nation and the first Jewish governor of Colorado with his election in 2018. During the 2020 presidential election, Polis tweeted “I’m proud of Colorado,” citing Sen. Hickenlooper’s Nov. 3 statement, “As it looks now, Colorado is going to have the highest voter turnout of any state in any election in our nation’s history.”

Colorado has long been a progressive pioneer state, consistently boasting an educated populace that ranks in the top five nationally.

This is why I was alternately fascinated and flabbergasted to open The Colorado Sun and multiple social media outlets last week, including Polis’ Twitter account, and be alerted of my chance to win $1 million each week of June by choosing to be vaccinated. The promo posters splashed across social media looked trashy, like cheap digital flyers for a foam party, Vegas escorts or goat yoga.

Urban legends about the “lottery curse” abound, and a study at the Paris School of Economics concluded that sudden financial gains may ­indeed ­result in increased risk of death, something economists term “positive income shock.” A deeply cynical individual might, therefore, interpret this olive branch as yet another attempt to thin the herd.

I tried to understand the reasoning behind such a move, alternately a mockery of science and a transparent appeal to some of the most base instincts in humans — namely, the premise of wealth without work. Even in a town notorious for wealth without work, at least trustafarians have the decency to inherit their monies. Dynasties, unlike dystopias, take work to maintain.

I think folks like Jonas Salk would get a kick out of our current situation, no pun intended. Scientists dedicate their lives to curing widespread ailments that jeopardize the health of humanity, marshal their collective intellect and speedily deliver a solution in record time at the height of a pandemic, and we have to offer a reward for those brave enough to accept the research and reason of experts, while simultaneously charging developing nations for our unused Pharma stockpiles. Meanwhile, the Indian subcontinent languishes. As always, Hunter said it best: “It’s a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat shit and die.”

I’m not sure I fully understand the principle of lotteries in the first place. Ostensibly, they are established to assure fairness, but the governing bodies often seem to be anything but impartial, from the NFL to APCHA. Wendle Whiting recently wrote a great column (“A royal mess”) on the S-curve lottery: a benchmark for fairness, transparency and a clear focus on employee housing if ever one existed.

There is one reason I can easily identify and understand for not wishing to be vaccinated right now: several of my friends are expectant mothers in their third trimester. If these disciplined ladies have bypassed booze and herbal remedies for the last nine months, Pfizer No. 2 hardly seems vale la pena.

To a lesser extent, I can at least understand an inherent skepticism or outright distrust in the government telling folks what to do — command capitalism may work for COVID containment, but it’s hard to sell mandatory behaviors (even and especially when they’re in service of the greater good) in a republic, especially one as fiercely theoretically independent as the U.S.

I think a lot of anti-vaxxer beliefs come down to ignorance, not malice, and it’s possible Polis is trying to bridge the ideological gap with Boebert in a ridiculous but well-intentioned attempt to vaccinate a critical mass of our state however possible.

In that case, however, why not spend the weekly million on public health, education, outreach, infrastructure or any number of deserving civic projects? I’d love to see a program like Our Community Listens — which the Chapmans generously provide to community-facing workers such as police, fire and public health in this valley — scale statewide or nationally. But when the federal government is printing $6 million for circulation faster than local legends can ski Ozone, there’s not that much value to currency anymore, so we might as well give it away in a sweepstakes! I’ll take my million in Dogecoin, please.