A photo captured in the Hudson Valley this week may be the sign we've all been waiting for that the nightmare is really almost over.

As cases of COVID-19 continue to fall and businesses slowly reopen, it seems as though life is starting to return to normal. Thinking back to a year ago, the Hudson Valley has really come a long way.

It's the littlest signs that are making the biggest impact

As we see the light at the end of the tunnel, you may begin to recognize some little signs that really drive home the fact that we are almost out of the woods. Perhaps you've been able to hug a loved one you haven't seen in months or maybe you spotted a restaurant or store that has finally reopened after being closed down since last spring. More and more of these little moments are popping up, reminding us just how far we've progressed in the battle against COVID-19.

A tell-tale sign that things are really ending

This week I stumbled across a scene at the local grocery store that really drove home the fact that things are finally getting back to normal. In fact, the moment was so shocking that I actually let out an audible gasp. As I reached for my camera, other shoppers gathered around and bonded over the incredible sight, smiling through their masks and sharing a moment of relief.

A. Boris

The sign we've been waiting for

Not one, but two large displays at Stop and Shop in Poughkeepsie held countless containers of disinfecting wipes. That's right, the most hoarded and hard-to-come-by pandemic product was not only in stock but priced at a deep discount.

A. Boris

Shelves in the cleaning aisle that have been completely bare for the past 14 months are now busting at these seams with Lysol and Clorox wipes. In fact, there's so much inventory that pallets of the stuff are just sitting in the store.

But that's not the most amazing part

Sure, the fact that wipes are available again is big news, but what really punched me in the gut was that no one was buying any. Customers were just walking right past this holy grail of COVID items, underscoring the fact that things are really different right now. There was no impulse to stock up or grab containers for loved ones because deep down I think we all finally believe that this thing is coming to an end -- for real this time.

Of course, we all need to keep being smart and encouraging others to get vaccinated so that the end really does happen sooner than later. But it really is nice to finally see the end as a reality instead of just a dream.

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