The city is scheduled to reopen in July, and masks are optional for those who are fully vaccinated. This doesn’t mean that everything will be “normal” in the end. Understandably, there are those who are still skeptical about the safety of their loved ones and themselves. There may also be some habits that are still around despite some restrictions being lifted.
Life as we know it was heavily impacted by the lockdown. Restrictions like capacity limits, distance, and straight up not allowing big events like concerts to go on. In addition to that, public transportation such as buses have required masks for anyone who wants to ride. Schools and jobs have resumed online, as well as many major events like concerts. It’s taken some getting used to, but regardless as a city we are making a positive impact. With that being said, there’s not really an exact way to know what will stay and what will go. There have been some changes that can prove to be useful after lockdown, and they might not be going anywhere. When the city does reopen, there isn’t a guaranteed way to tell how people will act or how they’ll feel about it.
Transiting into lockdown life was definitely an interesting experience. When asked what habits were changed during this process, Daanyia Rasheed responded, “Going out, seeing my friends, just leaving the house.”
During the beginning of lockdown, social distancing was pushed heavily. It wasn’t just the six feet markers on the floors and sidewalks of establishments, it was also encouraged that large groups didn’t show up together. If you didn’t need to go outside, it was heavily advised that you didn’t. Many of us have spent more time in our houses than we can remember or care to.
“Walking over to my bus top every morning as well as fixing my sleep schedule,” says Jalen Felipe when asked the same question. This is understandable of course.
Many routines have been disrupted during the course of the lockdown for obvious reasons. It seems to be a widespread sentiment. It’s mostly viewed as negative, especially when both your body and mind is trained for a specific set of events. Usually, you’d get into your sleep schedule for school near the end of summer break. During online classes, which start at 8:30 in the morning here, you don’t have to get dressed. That takes away much of the average person’s morning routine. You can literally wake up just in time for class.
That sounds great, but it does mean that behind screens students are in an uncontrolled environment. It’s hard to get fuse school and home when the school system has been based on separating them. While this was mostly trying to separate the way students behave in the respective environments, changing those schedules and combining the atmospheres didn’t work well for many people.
“I would love to go to the beach and do fun activities but due to the pandemic I don’t think I will because I don’t want to get sick,” Safiyah Alli says in regards to whether or not the student would be going outside more after the city reopens. Samara Rahman is a bit more hopeful, “ Yes I do because I would have so much more free time than usual.”
This is reasonable because establishments are lifting some or all the restrictions they previously had. Masks are optional for those who have gotten both vaccinations but for most people that doesn’t take away the fear of getting sick. Over the course of this lockdown and the pandemic in general, many have learned that it needed to be taken seriously. 600,000 people are dead, and that’s a scary reality considered many of those deaths were preventable. As an individual, you have an idea of how you might feel when or if you get sick. However, you remember that you are an individual, and that there’s no guarantee of how you’ll feel. You could get it better than everyone else, or suffer more than everyone else.
One the other hand, there is hope. The more people who become fully vaccinated, the safer the city will be when it reopens. It looks like the number of people who are getting vaccinated or expressing interest in it are going up. The summer could be a brighter one than last year, and this time around people are more than excited to get out. It provides a sense of normality that some feel was very overdue. At the same time, there’s a question of what will change. Especially for places other than schools or public places of work.
“I’m not really bothered with the no snow days because then we won’t have to worry about cramming work in that we missed on that snow day. I do think if [it’s] all over zooms there is no reason for snow days but if there are in person office jobs and they have to drive to work they should get snow days,” Safiyah expressed. The elimination of snow days wasn’t taken well when it came to students.
Now that school is online, there isn’t a need for emergency days off like snow days. You can just show up for instruction like it’s been done during the lockdown. Everyone could use a day off sometimes, but sometimes work has to be done. Especially if you’ve got a full time job and don’t want to be late because you’re stuck in traffic. This can prove helpful in institutions like offices or office jobs, because you can just stay home and get projects done. During the lockdown, it limited the amount of people in the space so that the possibility of spreading COVID was lowered. It’s easy to see why someone may not want to go to work on a regular day, but the pandemic truly heightened that feeling. Now that this is an option, who knows if it will stay one, and if other places will keep their previous regulations as options as well.
“I think they might have rules because they don’t want a bad name due to people getting covid at their establishment, but they need business,” says Rasheed.
During the lockdown, many businesses had their fair share of hardships. Particularly small businesses who relied on customers coming in and out, such as restaurants and shops. Not everyone can see a global pandemic coming and prepare for it beforehand. Reopening has always been at the center of lifting the lockdown restrictions, because many of these business owners have expressed the threat of having to close down. It’s more than likely that restaurants will loosen up their restrictions or just get rid of them entirely if they’re not required to have them. This could be the opportunity to make up for lost revenue and it isn’t beyond most people to take advantage of it. However, safety also plays a role in whether or not people will actually go out.
“I think people will be more aware of keeping distance from others in public but I don’t think they will continue wearing masks to reduce the amount of spread,” Alli says.
As much as the general public wants things to go back to the way they were, a year in lockdown is a long time to consider what is safest for you and others. There are some people who are used to masks, and may not want to take any chances. Though they probably won’t be making as much of an appearance anymore, distancing yourself from people you don’t know seems like it will be a popular practice during the summer. Being maskless is really what most people are concerned about, and it’s more likely that will be focused on more.
This has understandably been a hard time for everyone, and some there are some behaviors and precautions that will probably be in mind long after restrictions are lifted. Some habits may be too strong to break at this point, but it’s interesting to see what will happen when the public is given a chance to return to “normal.”
“Going close [to] people without masks, going to concerts, and having parties,” says Samara in regards to behaviors that the freshman probably won’t go back to even after the lockdown is over
Just because lockdown restrictions will be lifted doesn’t mean that people will suddenly go back to being with other people in large groups. This could be for many reasons. For example, putting a person who hasn’t gotten vaccinated in a space with a lot of people could have a negative impact. About 47% of the population has gotten one dose, and about 37% are fully vaccinated. It could also just be that events such as parties and concerts aren’t as appealing as they used to be. Your peers and family may not be comfortable with others being within close proximity to them anymore. This might change years down the line, but it isn’t a guarantee that everything will go back to the way it was.
Though the summer is known to attract lots of activity, it may not be the same this year. That isn’t to say there won’t be a lot of people running around, because it’s likely there will be. It just means that it won’t be done in the same way we know it to be done. For now, it’s unclear how long we will have to wait until we finally reach “normal” or even a different version of that.
Works Cited“CDC COVID Data Tracker.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations.