January 20, 2022

COVID colors new year hopes

Pandemic-weary locals looking forward to 2022

Sarah Bullock/staff reporter

Sandro Mironti, owner of NY Bagel on Main Street in Cortland, puts a muffin on display while Gemma Guy, a barista, puts a lid on a coffee cup.

Jobs, business and health: Many of the hopes for 2022 in Cortland center around thriving again despite COVID-19.

There’s no getting away from a 21-month pandemic.

There’s been fear, and sickness and death.

There have been disagreements and disruptions.

But look ahead, and perhaps there’s hope, too. This is what people in Cortland hoped was on the horizon in 2022:


SUNY Cortland senior Sam Geist said finding work after she graduates with a bachelor’s degree this spring hits the top of her New Year wish list.

“I graduate in May so I’m hoping I can find a job related to my career path,” said Geist, a psychology major, as she worked on homework for a winter session course at the Marketplace Mall.


Geist also hopes her club rugby games in the spring will go as well as her fall National Collegiate Rugby season: SUNY Cortland women ranked No. 2 in the nation.

“We were really excited,” she said. “It was a great experience.”

Geist loves the physicality of rugby, but she also loves the people involved.

“You automatically have something to talk about,” she said. “It’s like a really small community. It’s tight knit.”


At NY Bagel on Main Street in Cortland, owner Sandro Mironti hoped neighbors would continue to look after each other.

“During this whole COVID thing, we’ve seen a lot of people’s true colors,” Mironti said. In Cortland, residents supported small businesses and restaurateurs helped each other. “We’re very fortunate to be living in the community and have such fantastic neighbors.”

But Cortland, and the world, are still struggling through COVID, Mironti said. “If we’re going to get through this, we need to all work together on getting through this,” he said.


At Sacred Art, a tattoo and piercing studio, owner Carrie Kash hoped 2022 would allow her to let customers back in to browse and chat without an appointment.

“When we were closed for three months that was painful,” Kash said. “I’m just hoping for the new year that we’ll stay open.”


Business remained good through COVID and Kash was able to limit exposure by keeping an appointment schedule rather than an open door. “Safety and sterility has always been front and center,” said Kash, who has owned Sacred Art since 1996. “I’ve worn a mask every day for the last 10 years just because I’m up in your face.”

When times are tough, people still want tattoos to commemorate life events, both good and bad, she said. And college students are a good customer base.

“We’re blessed in that regard,” Kash said. Beyond business, she hopes for physical wellness in 2021. “Just for everyone to be healthy.”