The C.D.C. said fully vaccinated people could safely go most places without a mask. Not everyone was sure, or ready.
CHICAGO — For Americans whose bare faces had scarcely been seen in public for a year, there were suddenly options. Would they leave the mask behind for a jog? What about the coffee shop? What about the neighbor’s house? The office? A sudden loosening this week of federal health guidance on masks has handed Americans a new calculation to make. And it isn’t just one calculation, but a maze of many. As people walked through their days, hour by hour, errand by errand, some wondered at every new doorway: Mask or no mask? In interviews this weekend with dozens of residents from Los Angeles to Atlanta, people said they were mostly encouraged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s finding that masks were no longer needed for fully vaccinated people in most indoor and outdoor situations.