Kansas has recently lifted their mask mandate as of March 31. However, businesses may still opt to require masks in their facility for both workers and customers. On March 29, anyone living in Kansas that was aged 16 and above became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, due to the state beginning the final phase of the vaccination process.
People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Vaccinated people are not considered fully vaccinated until after that two-week time span according to the CDC website. Those who have been fully vaccinated can begin to do more activities than they were previously allowed in the last year. Such as, visiting indoors without a mask with other fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people, travel without a pre COVID test and without having to quarantine.
The CDC does advise against mask less visits with those that are high risk in a confined space, they also advise against large gatherings. Despite these new recommendations for those who are vaccinated the CDC also still recommends everyone to wear a mask and stay six feet apart in crowded areas if they must be in a crowd until there is more research and information on how the vaccine will affect the spread of COVID-19.
Many ask, “When will we be back to normal?” and yet others ask, “Is this our new normal?” Both questions are valid to ask and to be concerned about. A year without live music, movie theaters, theater performances, festivals and the list goes on. It has been difficult to adapt to this new way of living for many. Those who are vaccinated and are allowed to be slightly less cautious than they have been in the last year should feel confident and proud of themselves for not only keeping themselves safe but others as well. However, when do we begin to “go back to normal” as some may say.
Genuinely, I doubt that we will ever be back to normal. I fully believe this is a new normal, however I do believe there will be improvement as more become vaccinated and we are allowed to safely open up more things again. However, it will be difficult to open things back up and get to a ‘normal-ish’ feeling again due to the anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers out there. The country cannot force everyone to be vaccinated as that infringes on personal rights. However, how do we begin to open up again for those who are vaccinated and masked, yet not risk reinfection and continuous spread due to those who do not believe in protecting others?
Those who are vaccinated are safe around to be maskless around people they are frequently see, but should still use caution and protect those around them in crowded areas such as the store, restaurants, etc. Though it does seem acceptable for those who are fully vaccinated to begin going places they may not have been going in the last year, as long as they remain distanced and masked.