New York city awakens after long sleep

New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio.
Associated Press / Mary Altaffer

New York is awakening from a year-long slumber caused by the Covid-19 pandemic crisis which quarantined residents from normal activities.

Once regarded as the epicenter of the virus, the city will be fully reopened by July 1 allowing full capacity for restaurants and bars, stores, shops and small businesses, hair salons and barbershops, gyms and fitness classes, arenas, stadiums, music halls, museums and theaters.

“Our plan is to fully reopen New York City on July 1,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters, full strength.”

Since making that statement last week, 80,000 municipal workers have returned to the office buildings they vacated when a total lockdown was imposed March 2020.

During that period, surging infection rates exhausted hospitals forcing assistance from the federal government to provide a US Navy ship and the construction of temporary medical facilities.

With accelerated aid this year from a new administration in Washington D.C., the mayor now boasts that a whopping 6.3 million doses of Covid vaccines have been administered here. That figure translates to 36 percent of the adult population receiving full vaccinations.

More than half the city’s adult population has received at least one dose of the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

With such an outstanding fast track to recovery, both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the mayor agree that using safety standards New Yorkers will be ready to resume normal activities.

According to the number one citizen of New York, “We have poured over the science and the data.”

“This is going to be the summer of New York City. You’re going to see amazing activities, cultural activities coming back. I think people are going to flock to New York City because they want to live again.”

Already, the ban imposed on bars have been lifted and seating inside restored.

Outdoor dining curfews of midnight are set to end this week on May 17 and indoor dining curfews will expire May 31.

Schools will be back at “full strength” in the fall.

“We are New York tough,” the governor said.

With that said it is safe to add that ‘when the going gets rough, the tough gets going.”

While summer will return most of the amenities New Yorkers are accustomed, tourists and Broadway theater lovers will have to wait until fall to regain access to the most alluring stage productions.

“We are now on track to allow full capacity performances on Broadway to resume beginning this September, bringing back this beloved world-famous attraction.”

Mayor de Blasio added that in addition tourists will be able to get free vaccines.

“Visitors from all around the world have come to New York to experience the arts and culture and see iconic performances on Broadway.

Prior to the pandemic, almost 250,000 people were seeing a Broadway show every week.  Broadway contributes about $14.7 billion every year to the NYC economy.

Since March 12, 2020, 100,000 people who make their living on Broadway — actors, writers, musicians, stage hands, backstage workers in costume, hair and makeup, ushers, press agents, box office workers and others who commute throughout the city and state to help raise the curtains were forced to either seek alternate work habits or wait out the quarantine period.

Both the state and city leaders concur that sooner than later everyone will be singing “Curtain up, light the lights…”

“Broadway is at the core of our New York identity, and a big part of our economy which employs countless performers and show creators, and beginning this September, the show will go on,” Gov. Cuomo emphasized.

Irene Gandy, the only Black female press agent on Broadway is ecstatic about the reopening of the industry she has been working for half a century.

“Of course after a year of dark theaters most of us were surprised by the news but we anticipated a return in 2022,” Gandy said.

Despite the unexpected news, she explained optimism that many of the complexities surrounding reopening will be addressed. Some of these include social distancing, mask wearing, proof of inoculation or negative Covid testing results, sanitized venues and other protocols.

The lights did not only dim along the Great White Way, theaters went dark…but all that is now history.

Some of the productions slated to return include the premiere of “Six,” as well as the much anticipated musical “Slide,” a tribute to the king of pop.

Tickets are now available for the Sept. 14 re-opening of “Phantom of the Opera,” “Tina,” “Hamilton” and other hits.

Happy days are here again.

 Catch You On The Inside!

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