Pittsburgh artists, musicians, politicians, and others reveal the first thing they want to do after getting the COVID-19 vaccine | Coronavirus | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh artists, musicians, politicians, and others reveal the first thing they want to do after getting the COVID-19 vaccine

… While still following CDC guidelines, wearing masks, and socially distancing, of course!

CP Illustration: Abbie Adams
As we stagger away from 2020, we look back at the past year as one of devastating loss and seemingly endless instability. But hopefully, two developments provide some reason to look ahead with cautious optimism. The coming days will see a new presidency promising a swifter, more organized response to the coronavirus crisis. And already, two versions of the COVID-19 vaccine are making their way through frontline workers and vulnerable populations, and will eventually reach the general public.

Instead of New Year's resolutions, Pittsburgh City Paper asked local artists, musicians, politicians, and community members to reveal the first thing they’re dreaming of doing once they receive their vaccinations. (Please note, that even after being vaccinated, recipients are still asked to wear masks and practice social distancing to be safe.) Hopefully, their responses will offer a bit of cheer in a time when many are still struggling.

CP Illustration: Abbie Adams
I'll probably take an all-day walk — stop in a museum, get lunch somewhere, and not have to strategically plan where to source water or find a bathroom.
David Bernabo, Pittsburgh filmmaker, visual artist, and musician. davidbernabo.info

On the last "normal" day, back in March, I saw a movie at Row House Cinema (it was Kurosawa's High and Low) then ate dinner down the street at Industry Public House, where my brother works. I haven't been to an indoor movie theater, or had a meal in a restaurant, since. I think it'd be fitting if I did the same thing on my first day back; I'd like to sandwich the pandemic between identical outings. Alternately — and with the likely wait before I'm vaccinated stretching into the summer — I'd gladly take a hot dog and a beer at PNC Park, having just experienced the first ballgame-free summer of my life.
Sean Collier, associate editor at Pittsburgh Magazine, movie critic for WDVE Morning Show
CP Illustration: Abbie Adams
My wife and I look forward to hopefully taking our daughters back to children’s story time on a weekly basis at the Homewood Library!
Jerry S. Dickinson, Esq., Associate Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. law.pitt.edu/people/gerald-dickinson

I am rip-roaring ready to go see some live Pittsburgh music after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. I'm charged up to see some of my long-time faves, as well as discovering some new artists. I will continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing while COVID-19 still is circulating. I hope that everyone else does as well. In order for artists to prosper, venues to prosper, and the overall music scene to prosper, it is important for everyone to feel comfortable going to music venues again. Having only half the scene feeling comfortable enough to go out will hurt already-reeling venues and limit opportunities for artists. Masking and social distancing after vaccination should not be seen as bowing to “government control.” It should be seen as a way to chip in to help our common livelihood of live music bounce back as quickly as possible.
Chip Dominick, vocalist/guitarist of Chip & The Charge Ups. thechargeups.com

As soon as I get the vaccine, I'm going to give my mom a very long hug (assuming she's had it, too). I'll also be very excited for the moment when I can have a karaoke party with friends in a public pool with lots of communal food and drinks.
Casey Droege, executive director of Casey Droege Cultural Productions. caseydroege.com

I cannot wait to do in-person vending again. Getting to interact with clients, see friends and acquaintances, and most of all, have people try on clothes right then and there is something I miss dearly.
Stew Frick, artist and fashion designer. sweettoothcustomization.com

CP Illustration: Abbie Adams
Once my friends and family members are vaccinated, I can't wait to have them over for a cozy home-cooked dinner and cocktails to prove that I have, in fact, completed my kitchen renovation. I look forward to holding my friend's new baby and giving everyone a signature giant, guilt-free bear hug, especially my mom and gram. Tears are expected. When we are all vaccinated, I look forward to the day when I can bust a move at In Bed by Ten and participate in random suburban bar crawls.
State Rep. Sara Innamorato (D-Lawrenceville). pahouse.com/Innamorato

The first thing I want to do after getting the COVID vaccine is to visit my oldest son, who lives out of state. Next would be a tropical adventure with my husband to celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary. Finally, I would seek out every opportunity to enjoy live performances from my favorite local vocalists and musicians, Geňa y Peňa with their soothing ballads from Puerto Rico, Kenia and her Brazilian jazz, and Guaracha, the Latin dance band.
Barbara Johnson, VP of the Center for Race and Gender Equity at YWCA Greater Pittsburgh. ywcapgh.org

Hugs! I've really missed physical contact. I'd love to be able to hug my family, co-workers, and friends who have been so wonderful through the pandemic. Oh, wait, did you say we have to continue social distancing after the vaccine? Well, in that case, I look forward to re-opening behind-the-scenes tours and welcoming people to the Section of Mollusks so they can see awesome things about snails, clams, and octopuses.
Timothy Pearce, TikTok star and Curator of Collections & Head of Section of Mollusks at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. carnegiemnh.org/research/timothy-a-pearce

Hi, habibis! It’s your favorite local villain, Princess Jafar! I hope everyone is staying in and staying safe! As soon as I get the COVID vaccine, I’ll do the same thing I do every night, try to take over Pittsburgh. Call 1-(34)-PRINCESS for more!
Princess Jafar, Pittsburgh drag performer and self-described Media Mogul. princessjafar.bandcamp.com

I’ve got a big “to do” list ready to go once I get the vaccine — and just about everything on it centers around reconnecting with the communities my wife and I love. I can’t wait to open the doors to our home in Manchester so that our community of close friends can hang out with our son, Perry. He’s changed quite a bit from the 6-week-old he was when the shutdown first happened to the almost 1-year-old he is now!

CP Illustration: Abbie Adams
We’ll cram into our living room for a (very loud, competitive) game of Celebrity. If that’s day one, day two will be re-engaging with our community of artists and audiences down at Arcade Comedy Theater. People are yearning to laugh together more than ever — and I know so many performers in town ready to get back to work for Pittsburgh. And of course, we’ll end the evening with our Arcade family sharing a drink at Sammy’s Corned Beef on Liberty. We will raise a glass of IC Light to resiliency, determination, kindness, and science.
Michael Rubino, director of programming at Arcade Comedy Theater. arcadecomedytheater.com

I have missed so many things during our fight against COVID-19. During the last 10 months, I’ve realized how much I miss the simple things in life I took for granted. I have not hugged my own parents since this began. My father is a double-lung transplant recipient. I’d like to give him a hug as soon as it is safe to do so. I have a long list of all of the people I’d like to hug and thank!
Julie Strickland-Gilliard, Western Pennsylvania regional director for the Office of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. ltgov.pa.gov

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