Opening up California

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By Emily Rangel, CSUMB Intern for the CHHS Program

Hello everyone, the time has come, California is reopening. Just like you, I have many questions.  As much as I want everything to go back to normal, I’m aware of and conscious of others’ feelings and safety. So it begs the question: how do we ensure a safe and respectful opening?

The Santa Cruz Sentinel provides a glimpse into the opening of California. I encourage everyone to check out this article, “California’s  big reopening: What in store on Tuesday?” to see what will be open and best practices when being out in social areas and gatherings. Read more here.

However, I have some opinions and best practices of my own. While I have been able to enjoy nice outdoor dining and indoor dining experiences with my friends recently, my friends and I found ourselves asking “when do we stop wearing the mask while dining?” I’m sure many others have had this question as well. “Do I take my mask off as soon as I sit down? when drinks are brought out? or do I wait until the appetizer?” What I have practiced along with my friends and family – we wear our masks until we have all put in our orders and the drinks and appetizer come out, so that we are respectful of the waiter. This is what has worked for me and I feel like I’m not putting anyone in a position to make them uncomfortable.

Although I am vaccinated, I’m not aware of other peoples status and stance on vaccination. Additionally, no one has a clue that I’m vaccinated because it’s not like I have written somewhere across my body. I personally prefer to just be respectful of others. While I believe I have a good practice for dining, I’m not sure how social gatherings will be going forward. I do have a concert to attend in late September and I’m curious what the guidelines will be and how others behave in these social settings. Lastly from my understanding, work settings will still require employees to wear masks until a vote that is set to take place June 28th but also privately-owned businesses may choose to continue this practice.

I wrote this blog because there are many questions on what the new normal will be going forward. Just like you, I’m not sure of every answer and we will figure everything out as we progress forward. The most important factor is to be respectful of one another and practice social distancing as suggested by health officials.


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