At midnight, it became official: California is open.
Of course, the coronavirus pandemic isn’t over, and life isn’t back to the way it was before most of us had heard of the mysterious, deadly illness we now call Covid-19.
But the lifting of nearly all of the state’s remaining pandemic restrictions is a significant emotional and psychological milestone for residents of a state that has experienced some of the nation’s most enduring lockdowns.
As my colleagues and I reported, the reactions to today’s reopening have varied widely, from outright jubilation to continued frustration with Gov. Gavin Newsom for keeping orders in place for so long.
For many Californians, not much may change today. Workers will still have to wear masks, even if they’re vaccinated, for at least part of this week.
Still, Californians have survived a lot in the past year and a half — and that’s to say nothing of the wildfires, smoke-filled skies, heat, drought and other disasters that have befallen our state while the coronavirus has ravaged communities.
To give a little perspective, here’s a short timeline of the coronavirus pandemic in California: