Although Governor Murphy has not officially lifted mask mandates yet, I took a little bit of a head start this weekend just to see what it would feel like to be normal again.

I’m not a confrontational person, so anytime I go out I wear the mask like a good soldier where and when I am supposed to, even though I know it’s ridiculous and by now is just a symbol that means “I comply.” And, since most people are vaccinated now, it’s almost it’s even more pointless.

But I had a very eventful weekend, went places and did things and did them all without a mask on since I knew that the rest of the country was already on its way to being completely maskless and that at this point no one would look at me sideways. And I was right.

My first outing was a trip to the local Starbucks. Since you order beforehand on the app, the coffee is waiting for you, so that visit is only 30 seconds and barely counts.

The real test was my next stop: I had to pick up a prescription for my husband at one of the big chain pharmacies. Stood in line for five minutes and, with no mask, approached the pharmacist. The pharmacy tech looked at me, puzzled, and I think may have wanted to say something but instead just went into her bins and grabbed my prescription.

Then, we took a walk on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. Not that I’ve EVER worn a mask outside but other people, especially in the liberal crew that hangs there, do.

Not a mask in sight.

Phew. Two down, one more to go.

The wedding.

I walked into a very elegant wedding at a very elegant venue in Monmouth County fully expecting to see most of the crowd masked up, despite their black-tie attire. And even though the catering staff, waitresses, and bartenders were wearing masks, not one of the 300+ guests was wearing a mask. That was such a great feeling, and reminded me of the good old days.

Maybe we’re finally on our way to a normal-ish summer without the drama, the judgment and the dirty looks.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.

NJ's most and least COVID vaccinated towns, by county

New Jersey reported just short of 4 million people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 statewide, heading into the last week of May. So how does that break down across all 21 counties?

And, how can some communities show a vaccination rate of more than 100%, according to state data? Reasons include people who have moved, those who are traveling and not residing at home where the census counted them, students who may select their school residence for vaccination data and people in long-term care (or other facility-based housing) among other reasons, as explained in a footnote on the state COVID dashboard.