March 16, 2020 – NYC schools were closed and all places of public gathering in New York State were closed. That meant Riverdale Y too.
With all that was happening around the world and our community at that time, it was still surreal to have to shut the Y down. Fortunately, within a few days, we went virtual for fitness, nursery school and afterschool enrichment, and we came back to the building to make and deliver hot meals for home-bound seniors and opened emergency childcare for essential workers.
A lot has happened this past year. We have faced incredible loss. Over 500,000 deaths in the United States and over 2.5 million worldwide, and counting. Everyone knows someone who was taken by COVID. And then there is the loss of work, food insecurity, extreme isolation, and the “new normal” of mask-wearing, obsessive handwashing and sanitizing, temperature checking, etc.
Amidst all of the loss and hardship, it has been heartening to see how our community and communities around the world have come together to support one another. This connection and commitment is the essence of community – as the Jewish saying goes, “We are all responsible one for the other.” On this one-year anniversary, we particularly want to honor those who step forward to keep us safe and protected, risking their lives in the process.
To all of the frontline, essential workers in our community and throughout our country and world, we will never be able to fully express our gratitude for all you have done and continue todo for us. And yet, on this one-year anniversary, as a sign of solidarity, support and appreciation, we have decided to wear blue in your honor. Thank you for all you do to support our lives, to sustain us, and to help us reach this time.