And the World Opens Up Again


Mattie Fitzpatrick

There’s something different about New York City than the rest of the world. The way it rebounds after a tragedy is definitely one way. The streets are usually full with people and cars, and the headlights are always shining off of buildings, but with the rise of COVID-19, the city that never sleeps has been sleepy with empty streets and minimal cars lining the sides. However, with the recent rise of vaccinations, New York has been able to open again, and soon those streets will be filled with pedestrians and traffic. We might wonder what our new normal is going to look like or what’s it going to look like two years from now, and although the answers to these questions are still unsure, we do know one thing: the city most of us have been to and grown up around is beginning to have life breathed into it again.
Some of the biggest recent changes we’ve seen in the past couple of months are obvious and more like the normal we’ve all lived with before this pandemic. In early March it was announced that New York would allow domestic travelers to no longer have to quarantine after traveling, although this rule has continued for international travels if they’re traveling ninety days after their full vaccination. The indoor limit of people as of early March has stayed the same, however for outside gatherings, the number has increased from 10 people to 25 in residential areas. Social gatherings have also increased in the number of people allowed from a 50-person limit to a 100-person limit indoors, with 200 people allowed at gatherings that take place outside. Although Broadway productions are still not allowed to happen, pop-up events are said to be happening as the weather gets warmer. These pop-up events, happening indoors and outdoors, are said to be trials for reopening venues safely. And just recently, the CDC added that fully vaccinated people can go maskless at small outdoor gatherings and can attend large indoor gatherings as long as they wear a mask.
One really monumental change we’ve had since last March is vaccines! In the last month or two, vaccines have become so much more accessible for people and more widespread. Over a million people in New York City have had their full vaccinations and over two million more people have been administered at least one vaccine dose, which is fantastic and a great step towards the normalcy we had before this pandemic. Throughout the five boroughs there are many places where you can get your vaccine including Yankee Stadium, which is open 24 hours a day, administering vaccines for Bronx residents.
New York City has also taken a major step towards full reopening by welcoming students back into their public school system, which is the largest school system in the country with 488 high schools. These schools will offer full time instruction for most or all of their in-person students as well as for hybrid instruction in other schools. About a third of all city students will be receiving in-person instruction while the remaining students have chosen to receive remote learning instead.
It seems that the world is opening back up again, with New York City on our stage being the closest major city to us. With restaurants opening up as well as schools, and the numbers for those allowed at gatherings increasing, it’s clear that the city we know and love is finally rebounding back to its normal state and continues to be a model city for the rest of the world.