June is typically a magical time in Colorado: The sun warms Denver and parks and patios are full of families and friends; Coors Field is redolent with the smell of hot dogs and sunscreen; and the snow recedes as residents soak up our wildlands while camping, hiking, cycling, and fishing. This June will be different. If April was the cruelest month in the COVID-19 pandemic, June might be the most uncertain.

The city and state relaxed stay-at-home orders weeks ago, but it’s still unclear how safer-at-home rules might affect the spread of the virus—and ultimately our daily lives. Distance learning has ended for the academic year, but it seems premature to assume that students and staff will return to schools in August. Many office employees have decided to continue working from home, while front-liners are still risking their health and the well-being of their families to give us the services we need. Each of our lives has been changed inexorably by this invisible threat, which is why we asked some of the state’s most astute writers to chronicle the experiences they’ve endured. However, we’ve also left room for the possibility of a return to something approximating normality with our guide to Colorado National Monument and our feature titled “How To Have The Best Summer Ever (No Matter What).” This June may be a time for grieving and reflection, yes, but it can be a time for optimism, too. It’s our hope that these pieces will help remind us all of that.