Can you feel it? Taste it? Smell it? That thing we haven’t experienced in more than 14 months?
Check that. It’s not normalcy. Nothing will every be normal again. But it’s a sense of normalcy … or whatever passes for it these days. And it’s within our reach.
On Wednesday, Gov. Larry Hogan announced that once 70 percent of Maryland’s adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, masks will no longer be required in indoor public places.
A day later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated Americans can, in the words of The Hill reporter Nathaniel Weixel, “safely resume life without any restrictions.” That means they’ll no longer be required to wear masks either indoors or outdoors, and they won’t have to maintain any sort of physical distance.
“The science is clear: If you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic,” the CDC stated.
The guidance does not apply to health care or correctional facilities or homeless shelters. And of course, fully vaccinated people must wear masks “where required by laws, rules and regulations, including on airplanes, trains and public transportation,” Weixel reported.
Still, doesn’t it all make you want to weep tears of joy? I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve lost 10 pounds in anxiety — a huge weight suddenly dropping off my shoulders.
We’re doing it, friends. We — you, me, health care workers, scientists, first responders, public servants, employers, CPAs, friends, family members, neighbors, humans — the vast majority of us are listening to the right stuff, and doing the right things, and beating this thing.
But I know two things today that I didn’t know 14 months ago.
We’re stronger than we ever thought we were.
And we can do damned near anything.