‘A Pretzel And A Soda At The Pool’

“Mr. Goldberg, 75, then came across a stranger’s post in a neighborhood Facebook group: ‘If anyone has a family member, friend or knows someone who is elderly and needs help pre-registering or registering online for the Covid-19 vaccine, I am happy to help,’ it said. The person was not asking for money and said, ‘I don’t care how long it takes.’

Mr. Goldberg wanted to contact the stranger immediately, but Ms. Goldberg was more skeptical. ‘You have to give your personal information to make appointments,’ she said. ‘A lot of people get targeted for scams when they are elderly.’

But Mr. Goldberg won the debate and reached out to the stranger, Harriet Diamantidis, a 36-year-old executive assistant who lives in nearby Merrick. Within a few hours, Ms. Diamantidis had procured appointments for the couple at Abraham Lincoln High School in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Ms. Goldberg, 73, remained skeptical until she and her husband showed up at the high school, she said. ‘But we both got our vaccine, and we even have follow-up appointments for the second dose on Feb. 27.’

The Goldbergs have stayed in touch with Ms. Diamantidis, who, it turns out, visits the same community pool they do in the summer. ‘I told her I wanted to send her something, but she wouldn’t accept it,’ Mr. Goldberg said. ‘So now I’ve decided I will buy her a pretzel and a soda at the pool.'”

Faith in humanity restored.

Monday Required Reading

1A. These are the best (and most surprising) places to get a draft in a bike race. Important research to know before your next race.

1B. How to keep the bike boom from fizzling out. In Pete Buttigieg we trust.  

“The need for the bike boom to roll on beyond the pandemic is about more than the love of cycling. . . . You’ll literally breathe easier when you start replacing more car trips with bicycles. We’re talking less carbon emissions, less traffic congestion, and a healthier population — the essential ingredients that make people happier and less stressed out. In the World Happiness Report 2020, countries with high bicycle use tend to be among the happiest overall, like the Netherlands (ranked sixth; daily bike use: 43 percent), Denmark (ranked second; daily bike use: 30 percent), and Finland (ranked first; daily bike use: 28 percent).”

2. What to wear to Christmas parties this year.

3. Perhaps he has written more hit songs than anyone else.

4. New data shows residents fleeing California in near record numbers. Substantive reporting from the Sac Bee. Good to know some local papers are still alive and kicking.

5A. COVID-19 and the Failure of Swedish Exceptionalism

“Whereas American exceptionalism is about America’s unique place in the world, Swedish exceptionalism is about being immune to any disasters that may happen in the rest of the world.” 

5B. Younger People Get Vaccines First in Indonesia’s Unusual Rollout.

“There are no good choices, there is only the least-bad choice.”