(LEX 18) — Tuesday marked the first day Kentuckians were permitted to engage in outdoor activities without wearing a mask.
Citing increased vaccination rates, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Monday that the mask mandate would be eased to allow people to go maskless outdoors at events with 1,000 or fewer people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also announced Tuesday that fully-vaccinated Americans can resume outdoor activities without wearing masks.
"I think it represents a little beam of light at the end of the tunnel," said Trace Carnahan, who took advantage of the warm weather Tuesday by eating outside. "Just like a shimmer."
In downtown Lexington, people who were fortunate enough to be off of work spent Tuesday afternoon hanging outside without a mask on.
"Things are starting to get back to the swing of things again before this all happened," Carnahan said.
While sipping on beers, Carnahan and his friends told LEX 18 that the relaxation of mask requirements should incentivize other people to get the shot.
"You hear about your friends getting it and obviously you're going to be more inclined to be like, 'Okay, I'll go get it,'" Johnathan Adkins said.
But not everyone LEX 18 came across was encouraged by the announcements by Governor Beshear and the CDC.
"I am still very worried that people are just going to take this and run with it and just not do the things that they're supposed to be doing," Hannah Lamb, a sophomore at the University of Kentucky, opined.
Lamb is fully vaccinated, but she is still very cautious because she lives with her parents and worries that another spike in cases could be around the corner.
"So it's therefore my responsibility to not only keep myself safe, but to also keep my immediate family safe whenever I go home," she said.
Lamb, who was wearing a mask during our interview outdoors, said she is not sure she is ready to return to what we once regarded as normal.
"I think I will always probably wear [the mask]," she said. "Probably for the rest of my life."