U.S. cautiously reopens as pandemic ease

New York

Emily Baumgartner, left, and Luke Finley, second from left, join friends from their church group in a birthday toast to one of the members, upper right, during their weekly "Monday Night Hang" gathering at the Tiki Bar on Manhattan's Upper West Side, in New York, on May 17.

"Most of us live alone. and we need community. During the pandemic, we started hanging out in the park (Central Park) once a week. Once bars and restaurants reopened, we started coming back to Tiki Bar afterward."


From nearly empty stands, three fans sing "Sweet Caroline," a tradition in the bottom of the eighth inning at Fenway Park, on May 26.

New Jersey

Peggy Broda meets her grandchild in person for the first time during CLEAR Connects: A Day of Families, a mass reunion event, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on May 6.


Guests walk down Main Street USA at Disneyland in Anaheim, on April 30. After a 13-month closure, the Happiest Place on Earth welcomed back visitors in a milestone moment for California in its fight against the pandemic.


President Joe Biden poses for a photo with an employee at Honey Hut Ice Cream after ordering ice cream, in Cleveland, on May 27.


U.S. Air Force Academy graduates cheer as the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly over their graduation at Falcon Stadium, in Colorado Springs, Colo., on May 26.

New York

Essa-Pekka Salonen, music director of the San Francisco Symphony and principal conductor of London's Philharmonia Orchestra, leads the New York Philharmonic, whose members performed together before a crowd for the first time since March 10, 2020, at The Shed in Hudson Yards, in New York, on April 14.

Los Angeles

Residents and staff dance during an Easter concert for vaccinated residents at the Ararat Nursing Facility in the Mission Hills neighborhood, in Los Angeles, on April 1.


Yoshia Uomoto, 98, reacts as her son Mark Uomoto and niece Gail Yamada surprise her with their first in-person visit in a year after indoor visitation restrictions were lifted at Nikkei Manor, an assisted living facility primarily serving Japanese-American seniors, in Seattle, on March 30.


A family takes a picture at the Oscar Myer Wienermobile during a visit to The Flower Fields, as California opens up from the pandemic, in Carlsbad, Calif., on March 31.


Texas Rangers fan Anthony Sosa, center, celebrates with friends during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, in Arlington, Texas, on April 5.

Washington, D.C.

Heran Abebe, 6, reacts as she watches her father Alebel Belay receive a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine shot at The REACH at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on May 6.

"We have to protect ourselves from the global pandemic," says Belay of why he and his wife wanted to get the vaccination. "We want to protect our family and ourselves. We have been trying to stay away from other people and using masks but now is the time to get the vaccine."

White House

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris laugh as they leave after speaking in the Rose Garden on May 13. Biden celebrated the new guidelines lifting mask requirements for people who are fully vaccinated, crediting his administration's vaccination program with dramatically reducing the impact of the coronavirus. 

Earlier in the day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that people who are fully vaccinated — meaning, two weeks removed from their last shot — no longer need to wear masks or physically distance themselves, indoors or outdoors in most circumstances.

The new guidelines mark a turning point in Biden's fight against the virus, offering the country a renewed hope that a return to pre-pandemic normally is achievable as Covid-19 cases decrease across the country and as more and more people get vaccinated.


People enjoy a day at the beach ahead of Memorial Day in Santa Monica, Calif., on May 29, 2021.

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