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DES MOINES, IOWA — It has been two years since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Polk County.

Now two years after the initial variant, people are feeling more relaxed than they have been in the past. The first COVID-19 death in the state was on March 24, 2020; with unemployment claims skyrocketing at the end of March into early April.

Now in March of 2022 people were out enjoying the early spring weather, hopeful about the future.

“I think it does seem like it is in the rearview mirror. Most states and cities have opened up and people, some people are starting to go back to their office and back to their routine,” said Grant Wilson from Des Moines. “We don’t have to worry about those dark days two years ago.”

One person added that with the weather this week it was nice to be out enjoying it, and not having to worry about any mandates for people to worry about.

“It is just kind of a great feeling to be here and have all of that behind us now and we don’t have to contend with all the restrictions,” said David Wilson from Des Moines.

Paul Anderson is from Des Moines and wears a mask for his own protection. He is retired and rides around on his scooter through the trails. While he was soaking in the sun on Tuesday he was happy that people are able to make decisions on what was best for their health.

“I think more people ought to return to normal, I think if you have a condition where you have to wear a mask you should wear one; but if you don’t you shouldn’t have to wear one,” said Paul Anderson from Des Moines. “A lot of people showing that right now with a lot of mask mandates being canceled. Everybody is getting out without their mask on and I am glad to see it myself personally even though I wear one.”

The CDC does still have a quarantine guidance of five days, and there are certain places that require masks in the state. But people shared today that they are looking at the future in a positive light.