2021: To Mask or Not to Mask in Manhattan

A couple of weeks ago, before Manhattan officially allowed  “vaccinated” folks to walk the streets maskless, I was in this very city all masked up.

So, these were my thoughts while walking through the streets. Also, I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph strangers with their permission and with their masks on. 🙂

While the majority of the folks wore masks, I couldn’t help but be slightly disturbed by those who were maskless.

She was just texting and scrolling on her phone, but she was lovely and was totally on board for this photograph. And thanks for wearing a mask. (:

If you’ve seen New York City, even through the media, you know that it is a densely populated city. There’s hardly any room sometimes while walking through the sidewalks and waiting by the walkways can lead to piles of pedestrians. Thus anyone maskless outside seems a bit terrifying for me.  

While walking through the sidewalks, I saw maskless people huddled in groups. They congregated at the outdoor restaurants. They laughed and dinned and partied like it was 2019. And I felt like someone time-traveling from the future – someone living in a biohazard futuristic world.

I didn’t ask for his photo, but he looked pretty cool on his bike. So, why not? He didn’t object. (; Behind him are the outdoor restaurants. Don’t go at night if you’re not a fan of crowds.

While Manhattan is slowly opening up again, we’re still in a worldwide pandemic and not even half of the American population is vaccinated. Furthermore, I’m afraid of the long-lasting consequences, especially when Broadway will open its doors to full capacity in September.

Additionally, it’s not only covid-19 that I’m worried about. I’m worried about my safety on the streets and public transports since I’m an independent Asian-American lady. I think I’ll be twice as likely to be accosted if I don’t march with the crowd and be aware of my surroundings.

He was sporting late 19th century to early 20th western century fashion. And he had a super cool mustache. “Sure, I don’t care,” he said when I asked him for his photo.

Opening up the city to full capacity means more people. And usually more people means more danger.

However, I’m not here to change anyone’s view. I’m just going to have to continue wearing masks outdoors if keeping six-feet apart isn’t feasible. And I pray that most of us will be vaccinated soon or/and we reach herd-immunity. Plus, I got my pepper spray.

What are your thoughts about New York opening its doors to full capacity? What’s going on in your town?

I hope you’re well and safe. 🙂

Thanks for keeping the peace, dude.

This is outside the Macy’s department store. The outside was adorned with flowers, though people-watching was much more interesting.
This is inside the Van Leeuwen Icecream. It’s homemade and there are vegan options.
“How should I pose?” she asked. It’s so nice to have strangers wanting to be photographed.


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