After surviving to the seventh episode of "The Bachelorette" season 16, Valley Stream anesthesiologist Dr. Joe Park became one of four men Tayshia Adams eliminated Tuesday night.
Sweet-natured fan-favorite Park, 36, a front-line worker who had survived COVID-19 before becoming a "Bachelorette" contestant, told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published after the episode that lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic had helped inspire him to be on the show.
"It was the height of the pandemic and quarantine in New York City," he told the magazine, "it was sometime in late spring, and actually somebody from the show reached out to me. They said, 'Would you be interested in going on a popular television dating show?' Honestly, I'd been in my apartment for the past few months, pretty much in my 400-square-foot cell, and going to work. If COVID has taught us anything, it would be seize the moment and just take advantage of opportunities given to you. This is not something that I would normally have done, but at this junction I was like, 2020 is such a weird year, so …"
Park — an alumnus of Hewlett High School in Hewlett, Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and Stony Brook University School of Medicine — recalled: "I would go to work, and it was obviously a very harrowing time in my life and in the lives of thousands, if not millions of other people, especially in New York City. Seeing so many people pass away during that time, it definitely gave me an appreciation for [life's] moments."
He separately told the TV program "Entertainment Tonight": "It's been a harrowing year for myself and other front-line workers. I was at a hospital in Brooklyn that I think in New York City was the second-hardest hit hospital. It really helped me reflect on how every moment is a gift." Park is affiliated with Maimonides Medical Center.
Despite fans calling for him to become the first Asian American star of sister show "The Bachelor," Park said, "I hope I'm not still single by 2022. I hope I'm in a committed relationship by then! I appreciate it, don't get me wrong. It's flattering. But … I'm not getting any younger. Again, if quarantine has taught us anything, it's that tomorrow's not guaranteed, and you really have to make the most of it now and take advantage of any opportunity that you're given. … It's flattering, but I hope I'm not single until then, if I'm honest with you."
Park has not commented on social media about his elimination.