COVID 2022

COVID PM: The ‘big day’ upon us, just how big will it be for California and Santa Cruz County?

Hey, everyone — are we ready for the big day ahead? Will it be a big day?

My personal guess: Yes and no.

In some ways, and from some perspectives, June 15 will signify a grand reopening of sorts here in Santa Cruz County. In others, it will feel pretty much like Monday did.

Lookout is intrigued either way. We plan to have eyes and ears attuned to all parts of the county, looking for input and making observations about what this new normal might look like. If you’ve got your own observations, we’d love to hear them, so drop us a line at

In the meantime, here is what we know ahead of ‘Super Tuesday’...

Will it be OK to ditch that mask now?

Animated illustration of a neon sign that says "RE-OPEN" where the "RE" is flickering.

What Santa Cruz County officials want you to know ahead of Tuesday’s reopening: It will be back to normal for most businesses indoors and out as California lifts COVID-related restrictions on its economy Tuesday, with masks not required in most situations for vaccinated individuals — though Santa Cruz County officials reminded that private establishments are still allowed to mandate them. More from Mallory Pickett here.

What will change as the pandemic fades?

A look at the rules changes: Even in the yellow tier — the least restrictive category in the state’s COVID-19 pandemic reopening framework, which is set to be retired Tuesday — there have been plenty of business restrictions. More from the LA Times here.

Here comes ‘Super Tuesday’

Will we magically transport back to a 2019 existence on June 15? As California drops pandemic restrictions Tuesday, it’s up to the rest of us to determine what lessons of the COVID-19 lockdown will remain — and we at Lookout want to hear from you, our readers and members, about what you’re leaving behind and what you’re bringing along into the post-June 15 world. But first let’s hear from Wallace Baine.

Six things you need to know about COVID-19 as California reopens


Among the facts: Around 1,000 Californians are still newly infected every day, hospitalizations have hit a new low, people of color remain at high risk and almost half of eligible people aren’t fully vaccinated. More from CalMatters here.

What could go wrong as California reopens?

Variants, vaccine skepticism, inequities: Although health experts see reason for confidence as California ends many COVID restrictions, here are some dangerous health scenarios they’ll be watching out for. More from the LA Times here.

COVID vaccine ‘passports’ in the U.S.

Here’s what we’re getting and why: The federal government isn’t willing to make a digital pass or app that attests to a person’s vaccination status. Several companies are trying to fill the void. More from the LA Times here.

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Can we learn to trust each other again?

Santa Monica

Can we return to a post-COVID normal? Since the coronavirus invaded our lives 15 months ago, we’ve been on an emotional journey that took us through isolation and despair, anger and grief. Some of us felt envy when others got vaccinated before us, others encountered anxiety as the restrictions that kept us safe for a year were slowly lifted. How do we sort through our emotional baggage and get back to normal?

More from here & elsewhere

1 dead, 2 injured after dispute over mask at Georgia grocery store, sheriff says (CNN)
A new coronavirus variant is on the rise. Here’s why experts are concerned (CNN)
Vermont relaxes COVID-19 restrictions after crossing major vaccine milestone (ABC News)
How the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine works and what to know about it (ABC News)
Nature-based or lab leak? Unraveling the debate over the origins of COVID-19 (ABC News)
8 states see a rise in infection rates, 29% of Republicans don’t want vaccine – yet (USA Today)
Boise could be the next hot spot in the Bay Area tech exodus. But resentment is growing. (SF Gate)
Anti-Vaccine Activists Use A Federal Database To Spread Fear About COVID Vaccines (NPR)

See you tomorrow for what we can all hope is a ‘Super Tuesday’ — one way or another.

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor