A little over a year ago, by orders of the Governor of the State of New York, the Village of Lindenhurst COVID-19 shutdown plan took effect. Everywhere, the pandemic changed things for us all, right down to the details of daily life. Through it all, however, our residents, our community organizations, our municipal partners — specifically Suffolk County Legislator Kevin McCaffrey, Town of Babylon Supervisor Richard Schaffer, and our NYS Representatives — along with our Lindenhurst School District, our Lindenhurst and North Lindenhurst Fire Departments, and our hard-working, dedicated Village employees in the Department of Public Works, Village Hall, and Rainbow Center all pulled together to carry on under unheard of circumstances. As a community, we have persevered. As individuals, we all had to figure out what was the newest “normal”, and held ourselves personally responsible to others, and ourselves, by wearing masks, staying at home in the early days, and then keeping the appropriate social distance. As the pandemic progressed, we came together to look after our neighbors, especially our vulnerable neighbors, delivering masks and hand sanitizer to those in need, and patronizing local business and restaurants.
At Village Hall, Zoom public meetings became the normal with limited access in Village Hall. Our family drive-in movie nights and concerts in Village Square Park required all who attended to adhere to social distancing & safety protocols. These Village-sponsored events replaced traditional entertainment venues, such as live theaters, movie theaters, and concert locations that were forced to close down.
It should be noted that during a year in which businesses everywhere were closing daily, an unprecedented 12 new businesses opened up in the Village of Lindenhurst.
Also, our Superintendent of Schools, Administrators, School Board Members, teachers, and staff of the Lindenhurst School District accomplished the almost impossible on a daily basis in keeping education going, and safely, throughout the past year. A thank you to Dan Giordano and the Lindenhurst School District – as well as to our students and parents — for overcoming such overwhelming challenges.
With the arrival of vaccines, there is hopeful light at the end of the tunnel; things are gradually changing. Restaurants and businesses have increased their capacity. The President spoke about July 4th as a target date for mandatory re-opening, a much-needed note of hope and optimism. More and more people are being vaccinated. Things are getting better in our Lindenhurst Community. Life is returning to our new normal.
However, we are not quite there yet. I cannot emphasize this enough. Especially as the weather warms, it can be tempting to think we can forget about COVID precautions. We cannot. Many of our residents remain unvaccinated. The potential for spreading the virus to those not yet protected is still a real possibility. Please continue to wear a mask, and maintain a safe distance from others when in public.
So, as we reflect on all we have experienced and accomplished together as the Lindenhurst Community since March 2020, I hold in my heart all those who have passed on due to the virus, and those whose lives have been forever changed by it.
I remain honored to serve as your Mayor.