By Peter R. Quinones
In Georgia last week all COVID-19 based restrictions were lifted. I happened to be out of town at the time, but as someone who lives close to, and works in Atlanta, I was eager to see what the attitude amongst Atlantans would be. Would people immediately jettison the masks? Would restaurants open to full capacity? The reaction of the populace IMMEDIATELY after the lifting of restrictions was always going to be my gauge for what the future would hold in Georgia.
A little background first. A few weeks ago I decided I had enough. Not only did I stop masking up in public, but I stopped wearing the face diaper at work as well. I received a couple dirty looks in the grocery store but no one confronted me. At work I was left alone. No one said a word. Even when I was in Birmingham, AL last week, a city that kept the mask mandate after the state lifted it, there wasn’t a peep out of the masketeers. It’s yet to be determined what restaurants will do as far as returning to full capacity but I’m sure the smaller ones will fully open.
Upon returning to Georgia from Birmingham, I immediately went to the grocery store to get supplies for the week. As a reminder, all State mandates had been lifted. I walked in mask-less and shopped for 20 minutes. I don’t believe I received a dirty look from anyone. I even asked an employee if they were out of something and they didn’t mention my bare face. I went back to the same store 3 days later and saw a few mask-less faces. After grocery shopping I went to the Post Office, a place that has been religious in their mask-related fervor. I was second in line and no one said anything even though there were signs everywhere. The people in line were masked up but none even looked at me sideways. The worker at the counter didn’t say a word.