Commentary

printed 12/18/2020

The most recent shot heard ‘round this world might have been the one administered to the left arm of intensive care nurse Sandra Lindsay at Long Island Jewish Medical Center on Monday.

That would be outside of the clinical trials and after Great Britain got a head start on the United States and other countries when it inoculated 90-year-old Margaret Keenan against the covid-19 virus in London last Tuesday.

On Friday, Atlantic General Hospital will begin vaccinating its frontline personnel, with the rest of us following in the order prescribed by the state’s detailed immunization protocol.

Even though it seems this moment would never arrive, as people became sick and sometimes died, and as businesses were forced to close and jobs were lost, it is certainly a time to be respectfully optimistic about the days ahead.

Cheering would be inappropriate considering all the losses the county, state and nation have endured, but good news has been so hard to come by for most of the year, that a small smile of relief would not be out of order.

What it means, for the coastal communities, is the possibility of a much improved summer. With federal health officials indicating that the vaccination program should be mostly complete by mid-June, there’s a good chance that pent up demand for a summer weekend or full week of sweet relief might be on the agenda of the hundreds of thousands of people in the region who have been stuck at home since, it sometimes seems, the beginning of time.

Add to that the increasing possibility of a second round of federal payroll protection program money early next year to help small businesses through the spring, and 2021 suddenly begins to look, well, not terrible.

We’ll happily take “not terrible” and be thankful for it after the miserable past nine months or so. The situation, it seems, is starting to look up.

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