On March 3rd, 2022, almost exactly two years since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Pace University announced that they would be moving their Covid-19 Alert Level from Yellow to Green on all campuses effective Monday, March 7th. According to Pace University, the shift from Yellow to Green indicates that “COVID-19 cases are rare, and transmission is controlled.” This directly follows New York City’s Mayor Eric Adams’ announcement to end two pandemic-era policies that have become fixtures of city life for many residents: requiring people entering restaurants, entertainment venues and fitness centers to show proof of vaccination, and mandated masking in schools for most students.
Pace University’s new guidelines are confusing to make sense of in some cases, like how you are required to wear a mask in classrooms and elevators, but free to go without in all other areas of the school. However, these changes have mostly been received positively amongst Pace students who are eager to embrace a ‘New Normal’.
Towards the beginning of January 2022, the feeling in New York City was hopefulness as it was announced the city was seeing a “rapid decline” in Covid-19 cases, and we were beginning to emerge from the surge driven by the Omicron variant. But then a new wave hit which urged us to proceed with caution, and more than 2,300 New Yorkers died of the coronavirus in the month of January alone. Still, cases were down and during the final week of January it was reported that 75 percent of all city residents were fully vaccinated against Covid-19. That includes 85 percent of adults and 76 percent of adolescents.
More recently, not even a month after the announcement to end pandemic policies in the city, New York City is seeing another surge in Covid cases, with a 31 percent increase from the average two weeks ago. Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 1 in every 4 residents has been infected, equaling 2,296,110 total reported cases. Still, paying consideration to the high vaccination rate and acknowledging the availability of the Covid vaccine amongst those who want it, it seems an overwhelming number of Pace University students and New Yorkers in general are feeling hopeful and ready to move on with said ‘New Normal’, regardless of whatever surge we may be seeing in Covid cases today.