In California, events are being rescheduled, restaurants are filling up, and vaccinated residents will soon be able to stop wearing masks. The state is averaging about 1400 new cases daily and about 51 deaths — numbers that are significantly lower than months ago.
But that joy and relief aren’t being felt among those who are losing family members from the disease.
“Now everyone's peeling off their masks, and they're going to bars, and they're going to restaurants. And then here you are dealing with the death of a loved one. It feels like we were almost so close to the finish line. So I think that it adds a complicated sort of layer to the grief that people are experiencing at this phase in the pandemic,” says LA Times reporter Hayley Smith.