As more places in the Hudson Valley ditch the masks and return to normal, I'm finding myself a little confused as to who some people are, as I've never seen their entire face until now.

Obviously, I recognize people I actually know, but there are some people that I encountered for the first time during the pandemic and have only seen with a mask on. For example, my local convenience store always has different people working there as any business does. Since the store is right around the corner from my house, I'm there all the time picking random stuff up.

During the pandemic, different people started working there and they're still there currently, but now they're allowed to ditch the masks. Walking in tonight I found myself a little confused. They seemed like the same people working there that I see multiple times a week, but it was the first time I had seen their faces and I was thrown off. I think it was that they all looked different than I had imagined if that makes any sense. Not seeing their faces for so long, you kind of just have to guess what they look like.

Surely, this can't only occur in random stores. I would think people working in healthcare might run into this type of issue as well. With all hands on deck during the pandemic, I'm sure that there were doctors and nurses working next to each other for days, weeks, and months and had no idea what each other actually looked like. I'm sure they've had a few moments where they've been confused once the mask came off.

I'm sure I'll have a few more moments like this in the coming days, and months, so I'll get used to it. Returning to normal is an interesting time for sure. I can't be the only one in the Hudson Valley who's been thrown off by this. Have you not recognized someone without their mask?

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As of Wednesday, May 19 masks are no longer required for vaccinated individuals living in the Hudson Valley. That doesn't mean that businesses still can't have policies in place denying service to anyone not wearing one. Supermarkets, which have been on the front lines in fighting the spread of COVID-19, are now faced with a tough decision when it comes to protecting their workers and customers in areas where vaccinations are lagging.

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Mask Confusion: New Yorkers who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks. However, individual businesses and venues can have mask rules if they choose. Here's a list of where you will and won't need a mask.  

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