A pandemic in New York City
Most New Yorkers continue to wear masks, despite US President Joe Biden's announcement that it is now OK to be outside without them, and fully vaccinated Americans can take them off even indoors.
A very strict mask regime was in place in the US during the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that masks be worn at all times, not only indoors but also outdoors, no matter how many people were around. Attitudes to this advice were divided along party lines. The recommendations were particularly closely followed by Democrats, while Republicans were critical of them.
Vaccination in New York
New York City has a population of 8.4 million people. Of these, 3.6 million people have received both doses of the anticoronavirus vaccine, according to state authorities. However, according to doctors' methodology, they cannot be considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after receiving the second dose. The exact number of fully vaccinated people in one of the biggest US metropolitan areas cannot, therefore, be given.
Vaccination in New York has become a real point of pride in recent weeks, with people rushing to tell even strangers when they find themselves in the same room with them. The words "Don't worry, please, I'm fully vaccinated" are becoming a new form of greeting strangers in lifts or in the lobbies of office buildings that have begun to come alive. But even then, people remain wearing masks. Meeting someone without them inside buildings is still virtually impossible. People without masks appear on the streets, but they are still a minority in the central part of the city. In parks and recreational areas, there are more of them.
Various organisations in New York are in no hurry to follow Biden's recommendations. The city's association of restaurateurs said on Friday that they intend to maintain a masked regime.