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Cherish the Rainbows Published on: April 13, 2020

The evening sky of Tuesday, April 8, 2020 was a soft blue with streaks of wispy clouds.  The pink full moon of April would soon rise.

A crowd of First Responder vehicles gathered in the parking lot of the Lawton C. Johnson Middle School in Summit, NJ.  They were preparing for a “virtual hug” to some very appreciated people.

The emergency vehicles, in parade formation, proceeded with lights flashing and sirens beeping towards nearby Overlook Medical Center.  Residents along the way came out on their porches and sidewalks. The vehicles slowly made their way around the Medical Center’s entranceway, sounding sirens and blinking lights.  At the entranceway was a crowd of the medical staff, wearing scrubs and medical masks, waving at this lively procession of emergency vehicles from Summit, Berkeley Heights, Mountainside, and Westfield, NJ.  When the vehicles parked themselves, First Responders got out, cheered and applauded the hard-working medical workers. Signs of support were held up, expressing thanks to the medical teams. Many of the signs showed rainbows, the symbol of the hope during the Coronavirus pandemic.  One touching sight was a lady patient in a wheelchair, surrounded by the medical staff at the entranceway, being released that evening, after a triumphant battle with Covid-19.

Again, on a happy note, the next day, April 9th, at 12 noonish, a tall white rabbit with floppy ears climbed into a Morris County Sheriff’s Dept. SUV.  The Easter Bunny (a/k/a Sheriff’s Officer Travis Somerville) was escorted down Court Street by the Morristown Police Dept. with beeping sirens and lights.  The Sheriff’s Bunny would continue on his patrol through Morris County neighborhoods, smiling, waving, spreading holiday cheer.

On the local level, the Library of the Chathams has undertaken a “1,000 Mask Challenge” in making masks for medical workers.  Also, the Senior Center of the Chathams has 50 volunteers to help older residents with their grocery needs. Chatham resident Liz Bernich with Madison resident Gina McGuire started the very successful group, FLAG (the Front-Line Appreciation Group) making sure delicious meals are delivered to front-line health care workers.  Numerous other FLAG units have sprung up across the nation.

We will keep these generous acts of kindness close to our hearts during the difficult days and nights ahead, dealing with Covid-19.  These events and wonderful people will be our rainbows of hope.

– Liz Holler

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