While it's fun to laugh a little, and shake our heads a lot, at the clueless folks freaking out that they might not get their Starbucks during a hurricane, there are plenty of people who have behaved not just decently but positively heroically during and following Sandy's siege upon New York City and the surrounding areas. From the many offers I'm seeing on Twitter from lucky people who have power, Internet, and food and are happy to share it with those without, to the emergency responders who've been working many sleepless hours through very scary situations, to the teachers who volunteered at evacuation centers, to the city employees and Con Ed workers who've diligently kept going for the rest of us despite their own families and personal concerns, these are the people making us feel better about humanity in general. Good job, New York! Thanks, all. We'd like to pay special tribute to the following:
Four of the newborns were on respirators that were breathing for them, and when the power went out, each baby was carried down nine flights of stairs while a nurse manually squeezed a bag to deliver air to the baby's lungs.
From a first-person account of the situation via BoingBoing, patients too sick to walk "were painstakingly carried on plastic sleds — one by one — by teams of four to five people from as high up as the 17th floor."
Elmo is telling our listeners about a hurricane that hit Sesame Street one time.— Brian Lehrer Show (@BrianLehrer) October 30, 2012
Elmo reporting live on Brian Lehrer/WNYC show. “Big Bird’s nest was ruined” in last night’s storm, but Elmo’s mommy stocked up on tuna, PB.— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) October 30, 2012
@xeni I am listening too! So adorable right?! I think the segment is supposed to be therapeutic for kids but its making me feel better too!— Mica (@micawave) October 30, 2012
Lydia Callis, Mayor Bloomberg's sign language interpreter. Please don't call her "Mayor Bloomberg's sign-language lady," she has a name, and she is awesome. One of the tireless crew of New York City government employees working to inform people about what's happening and what to do in a time of Sandy, she's not only a vibrant, expressive communicator (even to those who don't know sign language; just watch, video below, she's on the left)—she's doing double duty by generating memes and inspiring tribute Tumblrs. If that's your thing. Via NPR's Mark Memmott, "her expressive style has fascinated many and provided a bit of a bright light amid all the dark news about Superstorm Sandy."
There are, of course, other heroes we haven't heard of yet. If you come upon an inspiring story of someone who's doing or did something great in this storm, whether in or outside of New York, please share it. We want to give credit where credit is due, and, of course, our thanks.
NYU Hospital image via AP; John Davitt image via NY1.