CHICAGO (CBS) — The Fourth of July also marks a missed vaccine deadline. As the Delta Variant of COVID-19 spreads, president Biden hoped to have 70% of all United States adults get at least one dose, but right now that number stands at about 67%.
While the United States did not meet the Independence Day deadline, the State of Illinois did.
At Navy Pier there was a big change from Independence Day 2020. There was no social distancing or mask enforcement as well as a lot more traffic and a lot more business.
“If it stays like this, I’ll be happy,” said Jeremy Myers, who runs a store inside Navy Pier, which is open again after a Rocky 2020. “We were open again in the summer. Then it closed again in September until like April or May. It was a lot scarier. We had the barriers up. Everyone had masks. We had to spray everything down.”
The same weekend last year was a world apart.
“We were masked up and in the house,” said Davinua Hogan.
“Just the family came over,” said Zoe Harris. “That was basically it because we didn’t want to spread any germs or anything.
Now with vaccinations having made the rounds through half the city, comes the return of crowds and live music. It is almost back to business as usual.
“It’s not quite two years ago, but it’s stay way busier than last year,” said Myers.
“We’re trying to get to the Ferris wheel and then after that we’re going on a boat,” said Zoe Harris.
“It’s supposed to be a day of independence. I’m glad we have our independence,” said Hogan.
The city is inching toward normal but is not there yet. For the second year in a row there are no Fourth of July fireworks from Navy Pier. They said it was just too last minute when they found out Chicago would be reopening as planning usually happens in March each year.
But there are a lot of other ways to celebrate Independence Day at Navy Pier, and fireworks are happening elsewhere.