'It's our social pact': New Yorkers still wear masks
If you walk around New York City these days, you probably can't believe that it's been a little over two weeks since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced more flexible guidelines for the use of face coverings, which state that fully vaccinated people can stop wearing a face covering when outdoors.
The first week of May, for example, SoHo's faces were largely covered, with the small exception of diners at outdoor restaurants. A walk through Harlem the weekend after the announcement revealed a neighborhood with a mask-wearing rate approaching 100 percent.
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Even a casual glance at the crowds in Central Park taking advantage of recent clear skies and summer temperatures suggested most weren't ready to take the plunge. This was especially notable given that the neighborhoods around the park have some of the highest vaccination rates in the city.
It is true that not all the masks that were seen actually covered the face. At least in Manhattan, masks have been migrating to different places on the body for a while now: The most common place is under the chin, as it allows for easy donning. More recently, especially among exercisers, the preferred position seems to be the upper arm. Less often, they are carried by hand.