Voices from the Pandemic

cathryn fadde

“There are the people who are terrified and there are the people who are just so tired of being cooped up.” ~Cathryn Fadde, owner of Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill in Cold Spring, in June

March

“There is no reason for undue anxiety — the general risk remains low in New York.”
~ Gov. Andrew Cuomo, announcing the state’s first case

“This specific case does not identify or present any widespread public health concern, but in an abundance of caution, we are taking several next steps.”
~ Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, announcing the county’s first case

“This is not an unexpected event, nor should it cause alarm.”
~ Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, announcing the county’s first case

“We’re doing takeout for now until we figure out what’s going on.”
~ Greg Pagones, owner of the Cold Spring Depot

“It’s either busy or you get through to the menu and you enter your Social Security number and your PIN and it says ‘We have an extremely high volume of calls; please call back’ and disconnects you.”
~ Sharon Cutler of Garrison, on applying for state unemployment benefits

April

“You work for two years to build a business but you’re not thinking, ‘What are we going to do if there’s a pandemic?’ ”
~ Laura Leigh Abby, co-owner of The Studio @ Beacon 

“At first the masks were in short supply; now the gowns are really in short supply.”
~ Stephen Hanse, president and CEO of the New York State Health Facilities Association, which represents nursing homes 

May 

“As much as it hurts the business to be closed, and the financial hit that we’re taking, I’d rather do it right the first time than go through a relapse.”
~ Lauren Decker, co-owner of King + Curated in Beacon

“In the rush to reopen we are going to prolong the outbreak, cause more suffering and death and do more damage to the economy in the long run.”
~ Philipstown Supervisor Richard Shea 

July

“The pandemic has refocused us and shown us how incredibly lucky we are to have the resources that we do, and motivated us even more to share them in new ways.”
~ Jennifer Carlquist, executive director of Boscobel

“It’s not an experience that I’d ever want to relive. You saw things that you generally don’t want to see.”
~ Dr. Nadia Amin of New-York Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital, on caring for COVID-19 patients

“I don’t understand the fight about the mask. It just seems like a simple, scientific, easy solution to this. It’s baffling to me as to how it’s turned into this nonsense.”
~ Barbara Fisher, owner of Barb’s Butchery in Beacon

lucky longo

“I’m ready to go back to work; it’s felt like a year already.” ~ Lucky Longo, owner of A Lucky Cut in Beacon, after the state allowed barbershops to open in July (Photos by L. Sparks)

August

“When we opened again in June, it was clear that the economy wasn’t vibrant and we weren’t going to make enough money to pay the rent.”
~ Mary Ann Glass, co-owner of RiverWinds Gallery in Beacon, on its closure after 17 years

November

“I never thought students would wear masks this well. We have a lot of people making a lot of sacrifices.”
~ Matt Landahl, superintendent of the Beacon school district 

“If anything, it’s pretty amazing to be here still and to be in the position we’re in now.”
~ Joe Robitaille, owner of Homespun in Beacon

“It’s scary. Many, many [clients] are those who lost jobs. What we hadn’t seen before was a lot of single men. People in the arts have lost jobs, and we’ve seen them here.”
~ Amy Richter, an assistant at the Philipstown Food Pantry in Cold Spring

“Financially, it’s been nothing short of devastating.”
~ Sara Milonovich, a musician and Beacon resident

January

“There’s a lot of fear that I’ll never be back to my health pre-COVID.”
~ Randy, a Beacon resident, on his long-term symptoms

“Communities across Putnam County are beginning to see the early effects of holiday gatherings — the full impact will be felt in the coming weeks as we continue to see case numbers rise and higher rates of hospitalizations.”
~ Shanna Siegel, a public health nurse with Putnam County

“People cry when they get it; it’s quite moving to see that.”
~ Jill Sussman, a vaccinator with the Putnam County Medical Reserve Corps

“Human beings need to be touched in their lives, and when you’re not touched for 10 months, you die.”
~ Richard Mollot, executive director of the Long Term Care Community Coalition, an advocacy group for patients and families

“The hardest part for us is not vaccinating as many people as who want to be vaccinated.”
~ Heidi Snyder, owner of Drug World in Cold Spring

February

“My parents and I have agreed, maybe in a few months we’ll allow ourselves to hug each other and eat a meal in the same house.”
~ Debbie Brennen of Beacon, after being vaccinated. She said she planned to wait until “many more people get vaccinated” before visiting her parents.

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