The mask mandate in North Carolina ended on 5/14/2021. Before the mandate ended, I’d say 90% or more compliance indoors in the Charlotte area. In the smaller towns outside the metro area compliance was more hit or miss, although it climbed considerably over the winter as cases spiked. I’m surprised to see that many people are still wearing masks now. I suspect it’s going to take a couple weeks to break the habit.


Public schools (elementary) shut down in March 2020 and after Spring Break went to full remote. The end of that school year was somewhat haphazard as the district tried to rush out a standard schedule and curriculum. All elementary school students got iPads and households without internet access were provided with connections. This school year started with all students remote, then in November went to a hybrid schedule with half the students in person on Monday and Tuesday and the other half in person Thursday and Friday. We returned to full remote in mid-December, then went back to hybrid in February. In March all the students were in classrooms four days a week (with Wednesdays remote) and finally the last three weeks of school are five days a week.

Public schools returned to full time in person on May 9. Kids are still required to wear masks at all times.

Many private and charter schools remained open for in person learning. Some were virtual when cases were high over the winter. At the school my kids attended, we did not have any quarantines or shutdowns due to school-based outbreaks


As of May 2021, restaurants still have some capacity limits, but it looks like most places are only making a token effort at this point. During the course of the year, there were some exceptions that allowed higher capacity in outdoor dining.

Religious Gatherings

Religious gatherings ended March 15, 2020 and resumed July, 2020. Our church was fairly cautious, but we could be that way because we had been streaming the live services for several years. We switched to 100% online in March, then resumed limited in person in July (without childcare). Capacity slowly was increased over several months.

We had live outdoor Christmas services in 2020 and Easter services in 2021. Childcare resumed in February 2021, and we went back to having two live services in April, 2021.

Movie Theaters

Smaller theaters closed and have not yet reopened. Major theaters have been open with partial capacity for some time. I looked for a ticket on a Friday night. Several seats still blocked out. Only saw a few that were already reserved, but it was for a movie that came out last month.

Office Attendance

My office (corporate headquarters with several thousand employees) has been closed except for essential employees since last March. They’re not opening it back up until next October, and between now and then everyone will be classified as remote, in office, or hybrid. I’ve been as or even more productive at home, though it would have been nice to get a monitor and some reference books from my desk.