Things Are Looking Up, But Let’s Not Forget

I saw Rockaway Rod walking his dog on the boardwalk. He waved and smiled at me. His hair was in full Rod Stewart form. That is a good sign!

Crocuses are the first sign of spring

Spring is here and the kids are in the skate park with the bluetooths blasting. Friends are on the beach with blankets and boards. The boardwalk was crowded over the weekend with people walking, biking and enjoying the warmer temperatures. I started cleaning up my front garden. My daylilies are breaking through the soil. The crocuses have sprung in the Beach 91st Street Community garden.

Better than spring arriving, the vaccine has arrived! I walked into CVS and right at the entryway there is a table set up for vaccine registration. It’s so easy. Pick up mascara, toilet paper and get the vax! I’m having vaccination FOMO. Many of my teacher friends and my friends in the restaurant service industry have gotten it. I’ll probably be the last eligible and I totally get that. But rumor has it, if you’re not eligible, hang around Duane Reade or CVS around 7:30pm. The vaccine is drawn up with several doses. If they have a cancellation or odd number of scheduled appointments there will be leftover and the healthcare workers will give it to you. We shouldn’t waste a drop! I was lurking around CVS the other night like a weirdo, spending way too much time in the makeup aisle. I finally went over to the vaccination center and asked if they had any extra “juice.” He said not tonight, but keep coming back!

Jettie builders!

Another uplifting sign … on my way to work I saw enormous machines on the Beach at 91st Street. They reminded me of AT-AT WALKERs but yellow. I had to get off my bike to take pictures because the contrast of the massive machinery against the ocean and soft sand was stunning. Finally, the jetties are happening and our precious coastline will grow. I actually became a little emotional. My house is about 200 yards from the water. I thought, maybe my home will be here in 100 years, for another community of family and friends to make memories in. I pictured these people sharing drinks and food on the porch, not a mask in sight.

I’ve noticed many restaurants on the peninsula are hiring. This means more jobs, more food, and more fun in the months to come. This summer will be different than last. The restrictions we’ve all endured the past year were necessary to save lives. It has been a terrible struggle for all of us in many ways but to me, it feels fundamentally wrong to complain about the economy, indoors dining restrictions or school classes on zoom while someone’s family member is on a ventilator fighting for their life, alone. 543,000 people in the U.S. have died from Covid-19 in one year. Heavy – I know – but as life normalizes, we can’t ignore the gravity of the pandemic. And we can’t forget the people we’ve lost or the heartache those families are dealing with.

This pandemic experience for me has been an important reminder of how delicate life is and how we need to embrace our loved ones and how necessary it is for us as a community to advocate for the most vulnerable in our society.

Keep wearing your mask and I’ll see you in the sunshine on the boardwalk.

For more on Rockaway,  Paula for the day-to-day on IG @theglorifiedtomato

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