As of this week, the state of New Jersey has lifted many of the mandates and regulations it had in place to keep residents safe from the coronavirus. For instance, people who are fully vaccinated can roam freely outdoors without a mask. Furthermore, businesses, such as bars, movie theaters, gyms, restaurants, etc. have been given the ability to serve customers at full capacity. Social distancing rules for vaccinated people have also been relaxed. Private businesses have the right to enforce mask mandates, and masks are still required for everyone in settings such as public transportation, hospitals, etc.
The regulations in New Jersey are based on an honor system; unvaccinated people are meant to keep their masks on and keep social distancing, but their immunization status will not be checked or verified.
It has been over a year of the coronavirus pandemic in New Jersey, and these new laws seem to point to things moving towards a pre-pandemic direction. However, the only way things can truly go back to normal is if the general population achieves herd immunity through vaccination and if those who are unvaccinated keep social distancing and wearing masks.
Personally, even though I am vaccinated, I will be keeping my mask on in public settings. I am doing this because I want to make others who are not vaccinated feel comfortable and safe in public settings. I do not find it an inconvenience to wear a mask because it does not bother me in any way and does not hinder me. I believe that caution is still necessary when it comes to COVID; although the more harmful stage of the pandemic seems to have passed, I think the public needs to still be safe and that previous pandemic guidelines should still be followed. I believe in science and the safety of others and I believe that in the near future, we will be able to be fully normal again.g