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A part of me thought this day would never come, but it finally has. Here in Chicago, we’ve entered “Phase 5”: Just about everything is fully reopening. While other parts of the world are still in some degree of lockdown, in many places, the end of the pandemic is in sight.
Going into bustling stores and museums without a mask feels surreal. Now that masks aren’t required even in most indoor places where I live, the past 15 months feel like they might have been a strange dream.
Yet I know it was all too real from the reminders around me. The pandemic lingers on in the masks I carry in my bag “just in case,” the social distancing signage that’s still up in many places, and my husband still working from home.
Most of all, the greatest changes of the pandemic are things I can’t see. The “unprecedented times” have changed me inside, in profound ways. These are the 5 things I’ll do differently now than I did in the “before times.”