I’ve lived on the east coast for my entire life, so I know what that side of the country is like from Maine to Florida.
These days, I want to see how three different parts of the east coast handle the mask and social distancing situation during the pandemic.
The three areas are Atlantic City, New Jersey, Charlotte, North Carolina and Miami, Florida. I find that this is enough of a narrowed approach in terms of states in reach that people can travel to, if possible.
I went to Atlantic City during the summer of 2020. I recall no one wore masks or socially distanced on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
I felt a bit uncomfortable walking around Atlantic City, as I didn’t know who had COVID or not. However, I was happy during the fall and winter as the boardwalk became empty because it got colder.
I didn’t know what to do at the time because Gov. Phil Murphy wanted the state to wear masks and social distance, but people rebelled against those rules.
I was in Charlotte, North Carolina, a month after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said it was ok for fully vaccinated people not to wear masks and those who weren’t vaccinated to wear masks.
I felt safe seeing the people in Charlotte who were not vaccinated yet wearing masks and following the rules and guidelines the CDC set in place. However, I’m well aware that some people could have been lying about being fully vaccinated. Some are scared about getting COVID-19, but they want to get back to normal life.
I mostly spent my time with family members on my dad’s side of the family in Miami. I looked at people at Matheson Park in the beach areas, and they weren’t wearing masks or socially distanced.
It made sense that people at that beach weren’t following the CDC guidelines because wearing masks wouldn’t make any sense as sweat would appear on the masks over time. It would make the people uncomfortable as they were either lying down to get the sunlight or have a nice day at the beach.
I noticed in downtown Miami, people were either wearing masks or they weren’t. So some people were socially distant and others weren’t, which made it bad for other people.
You couldn’t even tell who was fully vaccinated or not, along with people who were anti-mask wearers or anti-vaccinators. I didn’t like that since people were pretty laid back about masks and social distance in Miami.
One year later into COVID, when I visited Atlantic City, the mask and social distancing mandates weren’t followed (for those that are fully vaccinated or not) due to it being in the summer months. I looked down at the Atlantic City Boardwalk in the morning and it was packed with people at the beach. It felt like pre-COVID-19 levels but on an even bigger scale compared to last year.
Overall, from what I’ve noticed between these three locations, is that they’re actually pretty similar a little over a year into the pandemic. You can’t tell who’s fully vaccinated or if they’re stubborn about masks and getting the vaccine. Would I want things to go back to normal in terms of things before the pandemic? Yes, but it would take a lot of cooperation to do so.