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Summer is back with less fear of a COVID surge

Last year, get-togethers with friends and family were few and far between. This year, we shed the masks and social distancing to celebrate with others.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Last year we were told that going on vacation or visiting family on a holiday weekend could result in a spike of COVID cases. 

Well, things are changing and people are out and enjoying life again one Huntsvillian says - it's liberating.

"I didn't really realize how good we had until all that it come along, you know, and then all of a sudden you couldn't hug anyone, you had to stay distanced and all this stuff, and to me, it's just so wonderful to see that that's starting to go away," said Michael Perry at the Bicentennial Park Splash Pad in Huntsville. "In fact, we went to Guntersville Lake, a couple days ago and some of the relatives that had come in from out of town, it's like, 'can we hug? Have you had the vaccine? Yes, I've had it! Oh, we can hug then,' and so it just feels so great to be liberated almost, you know." 

Due to the pandemic - the Fourth of July celebrations were much more lowkey; many didn't get together at all.

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And that may be why one family is still celebrating today, on July 5.

"We're so thankful, it's so beautiful out here with our family, we're visiting from Florida. It's a beautiful day, we're celebrating our national holiday, and with military family, we are counting our blessings," said Amy Martin at Big Spring Park. 

Beyond the summer celebrations, Martin's nephew is excited for a 'back to normal' school year - as many young people are.

"I mean I can't wait, I mean since I'm new here, I don't know anybody. So if I was online it'd be weird, and I wouldn't have a chance to meet anybody. So being in person is like really great and I just, I can't wait to meet new people," said Tyce Forcella, who was also at Big Spring Park.

Here's to enjoying the summer a little bit more!

RELATED: Summer safety: Sunscreen? Check. Sunglasses? Check. Hat? Check.