Nassau County has been slowly, surely returning to normal life following 15 months of trying restrictions intended to contain an out-of-control virus, and we can say with certainty that those restrictions saved lives. This week the county will take a giant leap forward in the ongoing effort to reopen its economy.
The capacity restrictions on businesses, from retail stores to fitness centers, were to be lifted on Wednesday, so we expect crowds will return to shops and amusement parks, and we hope business will boom. At the same time, indoor social gatherings of 250 people will be permitted, up from the current 100, and outdoor residential gatherings of up to 500 will be allowed. All good news for couples seeking to marry in June.
We have seen how life is getting back to the way things were. Long Island Rail Road cars are filling up, and so are our parkways. Traffic jams are back. So are lines to be seated at popular restaurants.
Never in your life did you think you would be thankful for the day that heavy traffic and standing-room-only cars on the LIRR were back, but that speaks to the upside-down nature of the coronavirus pandemic, which altered our reality.
What is making all of this possible are the Covid-19 vaccines. As of press time, Nassau County officials were reporting that some 70 percent of residents here had received their first dose of the vaccine. That is excellent news, because it means we should, at the very least, be able to achieve herd immunity at the local level by summer’s end, and perhaps much sooner.
We encourage readers to post photos of themselves on social media receiving their vaccine inoculations. Spread the message far and wide: The vaccines are safe. They are effective. And once you’re vaccinated, you are largely free to return to life as you knew it.