By Anna Giles

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As shops and restaurants get more freedom to open, people have more opportunities to venture out. But it’s not without frequent reminders that we are in the middle of a pandemic.

Many people feel like they live in a world halfway, where you can’t go to a bar and just get a drink, but you can meet your friends for a drink at a restaurant, usually outside.

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“I feel like it’s nice to return to some sense of normal even if things are halfway open,” said Sydney Blonian.

People six feet apart and masked up are constant reminders we are still battling a pandemic.

“You can’t deny it. The masks. I’ve always been doing it I haven’t not done it. But I’ve hated it every step,” said Jasmine Runquist.

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People wear masks in public but can take them off when sitting down at a restaurant.

“It’s still confusing times. We don’t know if we’re safe or if we’re not. For us, we’re just going to dinner tonight and going home right after,” said Fridaleen Lou-Dizon.

For some, the hesitation about safety sneaks in with strangers.

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“Dating during COVID, not the same,” Blonian said, “I don’t want to meet some random person and be like ‘oh are you COVID free?’”

Ken and Kathryn Cale said they’re willing to go out but with limitations.

“Now that the option is to eat inside, we’re still going to choose to eat outside,” Kathryn Cale said.

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They said they will only go places that are committed to following the rules and will leave if they don’t.

Sacramento County Health officials continue to put out messages of caution: in order to get back to normal, life can’t be normal right now. With eyes on the orange tier, they urge the community to keep following the precautions.

“Most of the time things are pretty good, but people are getting lax and they’re letting their defenses down and it’s my feeling that’s the biggest risk of all,” Ken Cale said.

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In an effort to encourage residents to keep following precautions, Explore Midtown is handing out free window decals that say “Turn Sacramento Orange,” and “An Orange Sacramento is an open Sacramento,” referring to the Orange Tier of reopening.