Post Premium: Our best stories for the week of May 18-24

It’s no secret the coronavirus pandemic’s arrival in March triggered not just a public health emergency in Colorado, but a cascading economic disaster as well, as so much of our daily life shut down in an effort to stymie the virus’ spread.

Now, 11 weeks later, the terrible toll of COVID-19 is coming into sharper focus, and we’re seeing — as reporter Alex Burness observes in his story on today’s front page — that while the virus doesn’t discriminate by class, its harms clearly do.

The financial hit wrought by the coronavirus is exacerbating inequality in Colorado as low-wage workers are left to risk their health in essential jobs, since they’re lucky enough to have been able to keep their employment amid the growing downturn.

In today’s story, Burness talks to some of those workers, including employees at the King Soopers on Denver’s Capitol Hill, which has logged 11 cases of COVID-19 and, sadly, one death. They’re the Coloradans who aren’t fortunate enough to work from the safety of their homes.

“For $20.16 an hour,” a King Soopers manager told Burness, “I am risking my life.”

The legislature resumes its coronavirus-interrupted session on Tuesday, but it’s not clear if state lawmakers can, or have the political will to, address this widening chasm of inequality.

— Matt Sebastian, senior editor/enterprise

The coronavirus pandemic is widening the chasm between Colorado’s haves and have-nots

The president says all-mail ballots benefit Democrats and lead to rampant voter fraud. Colorado says no

The coronavirus pandemic has raised the question of whether to implement universal, all-mail voting in the 45 states that don’t already have it, but many Republicans from President Donald Trump on down are resisting the idea. Colorado’s experience shows that vote by mail can be at least as secure as in-person voting while increasing turnout, Saja Hindi reports.

RELATED: Colorado Republicans target China for everything from TikTok to COVID

Suicides in Colorado dropped 40% during the first 2 months of the coronavirus pandemic — but calls to crisis line spiked

“People’s lives have been disrupted in a severe way,” said Tony Wood, chair of the board at the American Association of Suicidology. “Many people have lost their jobs. There’s no clear way forward for a lot of people.”

Colorado recorded a 40% decrease in suicides in March and April as social-distancing policies aimed at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus kept residents home, according to provisional death-certificate data from the state health department.

The data helps paint a complex picture of the mental and emotional toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. While suicides are down from 2019 levels, Colorado Crisis Services saw an almost 48% increase in calls in March and April compared to last year, with most callers seeking help for anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. Read more from Jessica Seaman…

Nearly half of Colorado households have lost income because of pandemic

Just under half of Colorado households are reporting a loss of work income due to the pandemic, the ninth highest share of income loss reported in any state, according to the newly launched Household Pulse Survey from the Census Bureau. Read more from Aldo Svladi…

RELATED: Colorado Office of Economic Development will not be spared from budgetary ax

As 3 Kings Tavern closes, South Broadway veterans worry about the area’s future — The Know

News that the beloved South Broadway music venue 3 Kings was abruptly closing prompted memories of the neighborhood in general — and talk of how coronavirus has only accelerated problems with affordability along one of Denver’s most established cultural corridors.

“As the neighborhood has become nicer and a destination for tourists, rent has been going through the roof,” said Martin Killorin, who founded 3 Kings in 2006 with partners Jim Norris and Jeff Campbell. “Only people with deep pockets who can afford massive rent can go in there, and that’s not going to be mom-and-pops.” Read more from John Wenzel over at The Know

How Gary Lane helped bring the Avalanche to Denver and the Stanley Cup soon followed

Gary Lane has never talked publicly about his role in bringing the Nordiques to Colorado. But 25 years later, he’s still proud of the determination he had in giving Denver a second chance at the NHL. Read more from Mike Chambers…

RELATED: Avalanche’s Ian Cole fully supportive of potential NHL return

+ Jeffco Public Schools’ fall reopening plan offers first detailed glimpse at what classes could look like in 2020-21

+ The coronavirus put summer camp plans up in the air, leaving parents scrambling for child care and entertainment

+ Colorado wildlife agency’s past research raises questions about mountain lion hunting levels

+ “The city’s records are really the people of Denver’s records”: Auditor criticizes transparency on open records

+ 3 Colorado children suspected of contracting rare disease believed to be tied to coronavirus

+ Some Colorado businesses that want to reopen face a big hurdle: Lack of coronavirus liability insurance

+ Do Colorado hospitals get extra money for coronavirus cases and deaths? Yes and no.

+ Denver accelerates airport concourse projects by up to $560 million while putting arena, expo hall plans on hold for National Western Center project

+ Colorado’s job recovery will be full of fits and starts in months ahead

+ Coronavirus model predicts potential danger in Denver this summer, little spread in Colorado Springs

See more great photos like this on The Denver Post’s Instagram account.

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