A return to some semblance of normalcy seems in sight. The District began vaccinating its health care workforce this week. The city’s chief doctor who is overseeing the pandemic response, DC Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, got vaccinated on Thursday

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert, believes the United States could achieve early stages of herd immunity against the coronavirus by late spring or summer. “I would say 50 percent would have to get vaccinated before you start to see an impact,” he tells NPR. “Once we get there, if in the subsequent months, April, May, June, July, we get as many people vaccinated as possible, we could really turn this thing around before we get towards the end of the year.”

It’s almost hard to believe that 10 months into the global pandemic we’re talking about vaccinations. We asked readers how they’ll know life has really returned to “normal” and what they miss most nowadays. Here is some of what they said: 

Alex Knobel of Dupont Circle: “I miss basement bars; I want to descend downstairs into a place with terrible air circulation and have no natural light for a few hours.” 

Nichole Ferrigno of Mount Pleasant yoga studio Past Tense: “I miss looking into my students’ faces, seeing their bodies visibly relax at the end of a vigorous practice, and feeling the collective energy of our Mount Pleasant peeps and studio space!  While I remain grateful that I can continue to teach in a virtual capacity, I dream of the day when we can gather in community again for class, and then head down the block for a post-class coffee-talk at Elle.”

Emily of Kensington: “I miss going to El Rey for tamales and tallboys before a show at 9:30 club, where I would stand stage left as close as I can get—singing loudly, body to body with other concert-goers and feeling the thumping with my entire being. I will know things are back to normal when I can sing loudly at a concert and not be staring at everyone[‘s] nasty wet mouths around me.”

Anne McCormick-Hocin, mom of two elementary-aged students: “I will know when things are back to normal when my kids can go back to school, when I can register them for camps, which means that the small landscape/floral design business I launched in March (seriously terrible timing) can actually get off the ground and I can work again. You can’t take a 6 or an 8 year old to sites with you when you are trying to begin a new professional career.” 

Gordon of East Falls Church: “Trivia at Nanny O’Brien’s—I’ll know things are back to normal when I can rejoin the rest of the Tuesday night crew playing trivia and having a ball.”

Christian of Arlington: “I miss feeling like the city was at my command—like I could go anywhere I wanted for as long as I wanted. I will feel like things are normal again when I can pass the night with a friend at a hole in the wall with dim lighting and stale air. Those places were always cozy for me, and I wish I could relax in them again.”

Frances McGaffey of Capitol Hill: “I’ll know it’s over when my friends and family can truly know my 9 month old daughter. When they can pick her up and hold her and she can get to know all of her official and unofficial aunts and uncles and cousins. My mother has only met her twice. I want them to have more grandma snuggles.” 

Martha Wilson of Dupont Circle (resident since 1994): “I miss that vibrant D.C. energy: the bustling restaurants, cafés, and coffee shops; the crowded sidewalks on K Street, rooftop happy hours, new museum exhibits, packed farmers’ markets—even Union Station and our beloved/hated Metro. I will know things are normal when residents and visitors are using Uber and taxis again, when the Metro trains are back on schedule, and when U Street, 14th/18th Streets, Barracks Row, and Navy Yard are lively again. C’mon, 2021. We need our town back!”

Readers, we are asking for your input once again. City Paper wants to know why you stayed in the District all this time. Some people fled during the pandemic, and others moved back and forth B.C. (before COVID-19). In other words, what do you love about our city? Tell us here.

—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • The daily case rate is 35.22 per 100,000 people, or at Phase 0/1 levels. The COVID-19 hospitalizations is also in the red, with 11.1 percent of total hospitalizations related to COVID-19. To see today’s coronavirus cases and more information, visit our coronavirus dashboard. [EOM]
  • Metrobus riders will have to pay $2 fare once again starting Jan. 3. [DCist]
  • After reporting no new cases for 20 days, homeless shelters see infections. [Street Sense]
  • DC Public Schools and the Washington Teachers’ Union reach a deal over reopening schools. [Post]

By Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Someone Stole Mary Cheh’s Subaru

Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh left her car running while she dashed inside Bread Furst […]

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  • The D.C. Council is looking for alternatives for policing. The mayor is looking for a new chief. [Post]

By Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com)

D.C. to End Indoor Dining at 10 p.m. on Dec. 23

D.C. will end indoor dining on Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 10 p.m., two sources with […]

José Andrés Joins Call to Eliminate Tipped Minimum Wage in New York

Chef José Andrés joined other New York restaurant owners in signing his name to a […]

  • Critic Tom Sietsema tries Taqueria Xochi. [Post]
  • Checking in on Ben’s Chili Bowl on Virginia Ali’s 87th birthday. [Washingtonian]

By Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com)

The Sleigher: Mariah Carey feat. Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande, “Oh Santa!”

HO HO WHO: Queen of Christmas Mariah Carey, plus Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande. Try […]

  • Here’s an overview of what’s in local galleries right now. [Post]
  • Check out behind the scenes photos of the National Cathedral recording its Gospel Christmas concert. [Washingtonian]

By Emma Sarappo (tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Henrik Lundqvist will not be joining the Capitals this upcoming season after announcing that he has a heart condition that will prevent him from playing. [Japers’ Rink]
  • The race of the year? This Sunday, 50 men and 50 women will line up for the Marathon Project elite-only race in Arizona, including American record holder in the 10 mile, Keira D’Amato, and local standouts Bethany Sachtleben and Susanna Sullivan. [LetsRun]
  • NFL analysts are all of a sudden bullish on the Washington Football Team. One NFL Network analyst predicts that the team’s defense will shut down the Seahawks this Sunday. [NFL.com]

By Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)