After COVID-19 vaccines were available to the public, young Tucsonans started partying and attending large events again. Various businesses lifted some restrictions and allowed vaccinated patrons in without masks, and many artists started to go on tours again as well.
“I think before vaccines, there was just an atmosphere of fear everywhere,” Gussie G., a “doorgirl” at Club Congress said. “Our mask policy was really strict, there weren’t shows at all really.”
As of today, the atmosphere in downtown Tucson has been bustling with people eager to party, and fans excited to experience live music again. Concerts are returning including concerts from Still Woozy, All Time Low and Tucson’s music festival DUSK.
“Since vaccines, it's been a lot easier to navigate the world; people have been coming out for shows and it makes me happy that people can see live music again,” Gussie G. said.
Club Congress is among many Tucson performance venues that require proof of vaccination and or a negative COVID-19 test upon entry.
“When venues are requiring vaccinations, it's a lot less stressful; you don’t have to worry much about the Delta variant among us, so I’m appreciative of venues doing that. I know it's hard for them, you can certainly scare people off that way, but it's definitely the right thing to do,” Meg Denny, a Perfume Genius concert goer explained.
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While this is a return to some normalcy, Denny is hesitant on whether we will go back completely to how things were anytime soon.
“Like everyone says, I’m cautiously optimistic,” Denny said. “It would be incredible if we could go completely back to normal but at the same time it's hard when there are so many people who haven’t even gotten the first shot and people who don’t have access to it in other countries. I hope that the stigma against the vaccine dwindles as more and more people get the shot.”
According to Pima County's data analysis on COVID-19, the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths per day has severely decreased since its peak in January. The data supports the efficiency of the COVID-19 vaccine.
However, as of Sept. 17, the same report shows that after such a long period of numeric lows, cases, hospitalizations and deaths are starting to rise again.
Jude Sammani, a pharmacy student at the University of Arizona and intern at Banner University Medical Center, said that even vaccinated individuals should still be wary of COVID-19.
“Vaccinated people have done their part and will not get sick, so if their personal choice is to go out and enjoy these events, they will most likely not end up in the hospital,” Sammani said.
Sammani stated that even though there are still public health concerns, the solution remains to be a positive one; we need to care for one another.
“There’s this lack of social and moral responsibility in some populations in this country, and I think that’s the biggest challenge, is that people don’t want to think about people as a group,” Sammani said. “We just need to be a little more mindful of how our personal choices can change people’s lives.”
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