"In ourselves our safety must be sought. / By our own right hand it must be wrought." ― William Wordsworth
Two years ago when New York was quickly creating a new workforce of contact tracers, I joined the team to fight for the health and well-being of my city. In order for the most populous city in the nation to reopen from lockdown, we had to all be trained and live online making calls. No pressure, right? So we got to work saving our city, breaking chains of transmission, and saving lives. From June 1, 2020 to February 28, 2022, we contacted 2.2 million cases (tested positive) and 1.77 million close contacts of those cases in over 55 different languages (with the help of interpreters). We also mailed 563,000 Take Care Packages, sent 1.8 million free meals to people in isolation/quarantine (just in 2021 alone), safely isolated 31,000 guests through the hotel program, helped 255,000 clients with wraparound services, and referred 54,000 people to Long COVID resources. And while we were at it, we also scheduled 19,519 fist dose vaccines and 9,020 booster doses for New Yorkers. Staggering statistics.
When we learned the program wouldn't be renewed for a third year, the weight and the wonder of all we accomplished really hit our teams hard, collectively. Here we are at the end of two of the fastest longest years. The NYC Test + Trace Corps program ends this week. With treatments, vaccines, boosters, and texts to people connecting them to vital guidance and resources, our city is in a blessedly better position than when we started. I'll forever be proud of the part I played in that.
So now how about these mask mandates? Are you feeling confused or anxious? I wouldn't blame you. Just because a mask isn't mandated in a setting doesn't mean you can't still wear it! I wear my K95 or N95 all the time in public, and I'm able to relax knowing I've got that layer of protection. When I take a photo at an indoor event, the mask is off only for that moment. It's important to follow your local public health guidance, which is just what you'd expect a soon-to-be-ex contact tracer to tell you, right?
Moving on to lighter ways of spending my time, tonight I went to the South African Consulate General for a South African wines tasting and networking reception organized by the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, which Nine Muses Travel joined recently. And I'm spending Thursday night with the Aussies at an Australia tourism event that's bound to be a good time. I'm also ushering a few performances of the next Theatre for a New Audience production, Wedding Band by Alice Childress.
The most important part of my days is, of course, helping to plan your inspiring travels. The newest requests include Vienna, Cairo, and more Italy (always a favorite for everyone). Have you been wanting to visit New Zealand or Greece? Travel to both spectacular countries is getting easier; New Zealand's opening for vaccinated Americans on May 1, while Greece is removing all travel restrictions on May 2.
In recent days, many Nine Muses travelers returned from their spring breaks and have begun posting some really lovely reviews on Nine Muses Travel's Google business listing and my Virtuoso profile. Will you be the next one to write a review of a fabulous trip we crafted together? I hope so!
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Founder & President