‘Light At The End Of The Tunnel': There's Optimism Worst Of Pandemic Could Be Over

San Diegans and visitors flooded tourist areas Friday in high spirits, ready to get out and spend money

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In San Diego, nearly a third of county residents have now received at least the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccination. Just under 20% have been fully vaccinated.

As more Americans receive their vaccinations, there is a clear and decisive air of optimism that life as we once knew it is slowly returning.

“It feels like all of America can take a breath of fresh air like we’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” Josh Davis said.

Davis, who is visiting San Diego from Nashville, spent part of his Friday afternoon visiting the Museum of Art in Balboa park.

That wasn’t possible a few weeks ago, since museums were closed for indoor operations under the state’s purple tier.

It’s nice to just feel that again, because we’ve been so long kind of cooped up and scared. It’s just nice to feel that good energy again, like we can breathe a little bit better,” Davis said.

The same feeling of optimism can be felt in other tourist areas like Little Italy, where large crowds gathered for lunch. Many people waiting in long lines.

“It’s so nice just being in the sunshine, just really taking it in, and seeing people out," said Rita Sakharov of Seattle.

Dave Hasstedt from Scottsdale enjoyed an outdoor meal with his wife and family, feeling safe enough to once again visit a restaurant.

“We both got our first vaccination a couple of weeks ago, and I don’t normally like to get shots, but it was like ‘hooray!’ It just felt so good to know we’re coming around,” said Hasstedt.

“I think it’s very important to get outside. It’s very important to see the world, be a part of the world, get that sense of community that we had before the pandemic,” said Bryce Johnson of Tierrasanta.

And while there is a feeling of optimism, some are still concerned about the potential threat of COVID variants.

“It is delightful to see people out. I am concerned, of course, about the variants that are coming and hitting their cities and could happen here. We still have to be cautious. We still have to exercise some restraint. But it is wonderful to see people out again,” said Tim Pestotnik of Sunset Cliffs.

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