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Dec. 14 Marks One Year Since LIer Became First in U.S. Vaccinated for Covid



On Dec. 14, 2020, Port Washington’s Sandra Lindsay, the director of critical care at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, became the first person in the United States to receive a Covid-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials.

That day ignited a new promise of hope for people in the U.S. and around the globe that an end to the pandemic would be near. Before he resigned amid sexual harassment allegations on Aug. 24, ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo repeatedly held news conferences at state vaccination sites, calling the vaccine “the weapon to win the war on Covid.”

“That shot signaled the turning of a tide and new hope in returning to normal,” said Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling. “As our communities continue to grapple with the reality of Covid-19, we at Northwell Health – and people like Sandra and her colleagues – are doing their best to protect our communities and show through example that the only way we can truly come out of this is together.”

In the year since, millions of people have been inoculated with their first, second, and third doses of the Covid vaccine. On Long Island, about 2.1 million people are fully vaccinated against the virus, according to New York State’s vaccine tracker.

“I do believe we are closer to the finish line than we are to the starting block,” Lindsay says. “But as long as we don’t get our vaccine rates up, we will continue to live in fear of these variants. We have to turn that around and get more people vaccinated to end this pandemic.”

From the get-go, Long Island’s vaccination rates were among the highest in the state. Today, 97.8% of adults in Nassau and 89.6% in Suffolk have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine.

There have been several efforts across Long Island to make sure that all populations have access to the shot. Notably, Town of Hempstead and Mount Sinai South Nassau, the Oceanside hospital, teamed up to launch the “vaxmobile” in April, which has administered nearly 10,000 shots to Long Island residents. The vehicle, staffed with registered nurses, visits schools, senior centers, and other hyperlocal sites, which gives those with mobility issues, time constraints, or other conflicts, an opportunity to get vaccinated.

“We learned that bringing the vaccine directly to communities and offering the vaccine right where people live, work, and go to school, removing those barriers, really has made a difference,” said Joe Calderone, Mount Sinai South Nassau’s senior vice president for communications and development.

Health officials agree, however, there is still work to be done in terms of vaccinations, including making sure children ages 5 to 11 get the vaccine and that people get their booster shots.

Lindsay has spent the past year advocating for the shot on several different platforms nationwide, as well as in her homeland of Jamaica, where she visited in August and met Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness. She was also honored by President Joe Biden, partnered with the Ad Council to promote the vaccine, and has appeared on several panels to talk about getting vaccinated.

Though she never imagined the notoriety she’d receive, or that she’d be the first in the country, when she first agreed to be in a group of nurses first to be vaccinated against Covid at Northwell, she called the experience of holding this place in history “a privilege and an honor.” 

“It’s been a long, busy year,” she said. “It’s been like a whirlwind as I’ve become some sort of a public figure, as well as still working as director of critical care at LIJ and still seeing Covid patients come in.

“I know I inspired more people to get it,” she added. “It’s going to take more than me and we have some more work to do.”

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The Hardest Costume Design Challenge on ‘Cyrano’ Had Nothing to Do With the Lead Character



This story about the “Cyrano” costume design first appeared in the Below-the-Line Issue of TheWrap’s awards magazine.

The real Cyrano de Bergerac lived in France in the 17th century, and the Edmond Rostand play that immortalized him begins in 1640. But director Joe Wright made a conscious decision to move the action up a century for his new musical “Cyrano,” which stars Peter Dinklage as the poetic swashbuckler.

“The idea was to re-create Cyrano around the mid-1700s to give the idea of lightness through the costumes,” costume designer Massimo Cantini Parrini said. “The 1600s, while a beautiful period to represent, is very set and rigid. Setting a musical in the 1700s allowed us to make everything light and airy at the same time.”

Parrini achieved that lightness by using delicate and transparent fabrics inspired by watercolors from the 1700s that he’d seen in a museum in Rome. “The colors were so watery and ethereal that I wanted to re-create them through the costumes, using more fabrics one on top of the other, with different colors,” he said.

He worked with natural fibers such as silk and linen, along with fabrics like organza that are “delicate but full-bodied at the same time.” He added, “For me, it is very important to maintain the criteria of the costume itself while capturing the essence of the historical period that I have to represent.”

Costume design for Peter Dinklage’s Cyrano

But Parrini occasionally used costumes that weren’t strictly accurate to the period. “Bringing modernity to a historical language is very important for understanding the costumes,” he said. “It is important for me that the costume is understood even by an audience that knows nothing of the past.”

He also needed to pay attention to the requirement that costumes would need to move with actors who suddenly turned into dancers. “I enjoyed using materials that aided me in creating movement,” he said. “For example, it was wonderful to see the soldiers in their rigid uniforms suddenly become light as air during the dance sequences.”

Costume sketch for the character of De Guiche

His favorite articles of clothing, though, were the ones he designed for Ben Mendelsohn’s villain, De Guiche, while the most challenging designs were for the nuns in a convent where Cyrano’s longtime secret love, Roxanne, lives after her husband is killed in battle. (Costumes for Roxanne, played by Haley Bennett, were designed by Jacqueline Durran.)

“The nuns’ costumes were very difficult because I was looking for modernity and antiquity at the same time—they caused me a great deal of suffering!” he said. “The result is beautiful, though, because the nuns are ‘aliens’ of the 1700s, maintaining an authority that the clergy requires.”

Read more from the Below-the-Line Issue here.

Photo by Jeff Vespa for TheWrap

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‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Hits $1.6 Billion at the Box Office



Another week, another set of box office milestones to have fallen at the feet of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, continuing what’s been a regularly recurring theme ever since the multiversal blockbuster first hit theaters over a month ago.

Tom Holland’s web-slinger may have lost his box office crown to Ghostface’s return in slasher sequel Scream, but a running domestic tally in excess of $700 million has secured Spidey’s status as the star of the fourth highest-grossing domestic hit of all-time.


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