A couple of months ago, I made the decision to leave NYC after being opposed to the mandates that were being implemented. Not long after leaving NYC, I arrived in a state where the governor is aggressively pushing back against restrictions and mandates. Now my experience is quite limited for right now and this may all update along the way but I thought I’d let some of you know if the grass is truly greener. Here are some of my observations on how life is like in a state where there are no mandates and one that didn’t even lockdown as seriously.
COVID hysteria still exists and you do see people masking up at stores, some even having signs up that you need to mask up.
The hysteria still exists with COVID and you will see signs up at certain stores asking you to wear masks and people masking up when you buy groceries. People who say “it is like COVID never existed here” are off, it clearly exists and so does the hysteria that comes with it. Whenever I have gone grocery shopping, I’d say half of the people are masked up. One silver lining in this whole thing is that so far, I have not had anyone enforce the mask mandates. At times, I walk into a store unmasked just to see what they would do and they never enforce the signs.
In some places like USPS offices, you are required to mask up and do get called out on it if you do not. I’d say government buildings or those run by the federal government are the main ones asking for anyone that enters to mask up. COVID still exists here, whether we like it or not.
Even in my apartment building, I notice a lot of people masking up. The hysteria exists.
Sadly enough, there is a loud and very vocal minority wanting this place to just be like New York and California.
While these people are more than free to move to NYC, they rather not. Unfortunately, they stay around in their home state and desperately beg for mask mandates and vaccine mandates. While you do get your irritating New York and California transplants, I have found that the vocal minority is actually locally grown. A lot of them feel the need to be even more militant and radical due to wanting to make up for their governor not adhering to the mandates.
Yeah, I know, it gets irritating. You wish these people would just leave the state and instead move to the utopias they praise so much but no, they want to stay and ruin the lives of others. Thankful, this is not the majority but even 30% can be quite ruthless.
Everyone else is a lot less confrontational.
Some can easily say “well you’re in NYC and all New Yorkers are like that”, as someone who lived in the city for years before the pandemic, this is simply not true. The pandemic made the atmosphere in Manhattan so divisive that everyone was at each other’s throats. I remember being at a coffee shop unmasked (you didn’t need a mask to be there) and having a masked Karen, who was taking forever to order her coffee, make a sign towards her mouth as she looked at me as if she was asking me to mask up.
Now I ignored her until she turned around again to ask me if I am vaccinated. Welcome to modern-day Manhattan everyone. I told her to mind her own business at which point she called me a Trump supporter (oh boy, how did she know). Yeah, that is how those people respond in Manhattan, they just call you a Trump supporter if they disagree with you or your way of life. I told her to just hurry up with her drink as it is taking forever.
Such situations were very common in Manhattan during and after the pandemic, it brought out the distrust and disdain people had for each other even more. Before the pandemic, New Yorkers were actually not that bad, they were rude but not nosy. After the pandemic, it became hell.
In my new state, people are a lot nicer and a lot less on edge. No one cares if you are unmasked as much and people are more relaxed as a whole. People just let others be which you would think New Yorkers would do since well, you know, you are not supposed to care as a New Yorker but that is far from the truth. People just mind their own business more here and everyone is left alone to be.
It is getting crowded.
One common theme I hear from everyone who lives in states with relaxed COVID restrictions? It is getting crowded. I run into a lot of New Yorkers but surprisingly, a good bit of Californians too. Rents keep going up and every month, it seems like they keep on increasing. Locals are not too fond of outsiders and who can really blame them? I am just hoping that Brooklyn is not bringing its politics to the free states, please keep them in Williamsburg.
Only so much the leadership can really do to protect you.
While leadership in my new state has fought hard to protect its citizens, a number of my friends who also moved to this state face losing their jobs if they are not vaccinated even though they are remote employees. At that point, it comes down more to who you work for and how you want to approach that scenario as opposed to the state itself. Sure, Governors can hold their ground in stopping vaccine mandates and mask mandates but at the end of the day, small business will do as it pleases.
I tried to get an Equinox membership and asked them about the mandates, the staff told me that they are working on a way to get around the state’s laws to get the mandates here just like they have in NYC. Needless to say, I walked out of that Equinox.
More to come.
I have not been out and about too much, such as going to bars and clubs, to really comment on how things are going. This post, so far, is somewhat incomplete. I also live in a big enough city in the state so the experiences of someone in a small town may be far more different. This is all I have so far and I know it sounded somewhat negative. I will post a sequel to this once I have been here a bit longer.