Returning to Normal

Lauren Maslankowski

Just about a year ago, it was unknown how we would progress forward and return to some level of normalcy. Since then, many advancements have brought us to a point that we can call “normal”, yet again. There have been three different vaccines developed that have been authorized for use among certain groups of Americans: Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson. We started from nothing, in a worldwide lockdown, and now, a year later, anyone 12 and older can get at least one of the vaccines. There have been significant steps forward in returning to a more normal life.

With steps in the right direction regarding vaccines, more restrictions that we have had for the past year are slowly being lifted. Many schools that have been closed are now accepting students to learn in person. Along with learning restrictions being lifted, many schools and groups are holding scheduled events and games similar to before the pandemic (with CDC-approved precautions of course). 

Students’ lives have been slowly but surely going back to normal and along with them, others have been going back to work. Office buildings and other workplaces have been closed down since the shutdown last March, and in these past few months, buildings have been opening and more people have been working in person again. The working environment is returning to normal, and with that comes the rush hour traffic. This adds another level of normalcy and it shows that more and more people are going back out into the world.

The introduction of the vaccine has also allowed more leeway in social gatherings. More people can now be together in an indoor space with masks than previously allowed. Gathering with friends and family is becoming more socially acceptable. With the summer quickly approaching, the allowance for larger social gatherings is going to allow vacations and traveling. Indoor spaces and restaurants are now permitted to increase their capacity. Very recently, the CDC announced that if you have been fully vaccinated you can go without a mask in outdoor spaces. Especially with it getting warmer out, more people want to be outside, with friends and family, without masks. 

Looking forward, many schools plan on opening full-time for all students the next school year. As more people get the vaccine and it becomes available to all age groups, life will return to normal more rapidly. What we see now is just the beginning of a strive to return to life as it was before and hopefully with the steps we are taking now, “normal” might not be so far away.