HINDSIGHT 2020: KEY WEST REFLECTS A YEAR LIKE NO OTHER

Editor’s Note: The coronavirus pandemic brought some of the first cases to the Florida Keys in March, changing our island lives in ways no one could have imagined.

A checkpoint kept visitors out and the virus at bay, but hurt jobs, business, income and mental health.

The guidelines have been modified to take account of its increasing prevalence. Meetings and fundraisers were postponed online, and we all became experts on Zoom, Google Meet, and using our webcams as mirrors before attending a virtual event.

The Keys reopened to visitors in June and workers returned to jobs in hotels, bars, restaurants and retail stores, as well as aboard dive, snorkel and fishing boats.

Each week, in our Hindsight 2020 feature, the Key West Weekly will highlight locals’ reflections on a year of unprecedented change and challenge.

David Sloan and Heather May Victoria Sloan temporarily took off their masks for a high-rise kiss and a socially distant kiss – on the Widow’s Walk at the Curry Mansion. CONTRIBUTION

DAVID AND HEATHER CAN CLOSE

David Sloan is the writer, entrepreneur, and creator of The Robert the Doll Experience. Heather May Victoria Sloan is a teacher at Sigsbee Charter School and frequently appears on stage at live theater performances.

Describe your 2020 in 3 words: Best. Pandemic. Ever.

Which canceled activity or event did you miss the most? Our honeymoon cruise through Canada.

Which Netflix or other TV / film programs did you discover or rediscover during the pandemic? All of them.

Did you have COVID? No. But we Googled symptoms and thought we had them 427 times.

What’s your pandemic pet pissing off? People talking about the pandemic.

What is a good thing that came out of this time for you? The perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

Describe your hopes for 2021 in 3 words Be here now

Becki Balcer and Tony ‘Fat’ Yaniz were both infected with coronavirus but found some positive results on the pandemic. CONTRIBUTION

BECKI BALCER & TONY ‘FAT’ YANIZ

Becki Balcer is Event Coordinator and Development Director for the Monroe Association for Remarkable Citizens (MARC). Tony ‘Fat’ Yaniz is a former city commissioner and assistant general manager and director of sales and marketing at Coconut Beach Resort.

Describe your 2020 in 3 words:

BECKI: Not as stated

TONY: A serious lesson

Which canceled activity or event did you miss the most?

BECKI: racing, participating in live sporting events, traveling, live theater

TONY: Coronation Ball, Local March, Fantasy Fest King and Queen Events, but mostly the theater!

Which Netflix or other TV / film programs did you discover or rediscover during the pandemic?

BECKI: “The Good Place”, “Schitt’s Creek”, “The Clone Wars”, “The Mandalorian”

TONY: “Fargo”, “Good Lord Bird”, “The Mandalorian”

Did you have COVID?

BECKI: Yes.

TONY: Yeah!

What’s your pandemic pet pissing off?

BECKI: People who do not wear masks or who wear them under their noses (tail nose).

TONY: People who don’t wear masks.

What is a good thing that came out of this time for you?

BECKI: My golf game has improved. I wouldn’t have dared to jump to (work at) MARC. Family time.

TONY: In bad times, you value good times!

Describe your hopes for 2021 in 3 words:

BECKI: Better than 2020.

TONY: It’s going to be great!

Commercial lobster diver ‘Lobster Lee’ Starling, shown here with a poisonous lionfish, says he used the pandemic time to relearn old skills in order to generate income. CONTRIBUTION

‘LOBSTER LEE’ STARLING

Long-time commercial diver and fisherman “Lobster Lee” Starling is looking forward to “Restoring our Freedom” in 2021.

Describe your 2020 in 3 words:

BOHICA – Bend over, here it comes again. (Editor’s note: BOHICA is an abbreviation for slang used by US forces during the Vietnam War. This means that an adverse situation will repeat itself.)

Which canceled activity or event did you miss the most? Key West Christmas Parade

Which Netflix or other TV / film programs did you discover or rediscover during the pandemic? “Vikings”

Did you have COVID? Maybe in November 2019

What’s your pandemic pet pissing off? Nose outside the mask

What is a good thing that came out of this time for you? Relearn old skills to generate income
Describe your hopes for 2021 in 3 words: Restoration of freedom

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