Partners Kevin McCormick, left, and Everett Farmer play a Jenga game on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade. (Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times)

After receiving a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine in April, Jim Savas began working out at the Santa Monica Gym.

Now, as the Delta variant grows, Savas still goes to the gym – the Peloton bike at home doesn’t completely cut it.

He also plans to fly to Greece soon, along with his wife Amy.

He believes the vaccine protects against serious illness and death as a result of COVID-19. He just wants to progress to picking up an infection and endangering his vacation abroad.

So he stopped going to restaurants and bars inside.

“If we infected the virus, the whole point of getting vaccinated is that it won’t kill us,” said Savas, 64, who owns a digital communications company. “But right now we’re under added pressure that we don’t want anything to kill our journey.”

Delta arrived in Southern California as life was returning to its normal appearance.

Now, some have a well-known prudence, going back to the customs they created earlier in the pandemic.

A man uses an elliptical under a large outdoor tent

Jim Savas uses an elliptical machine outdoors at the TriFit Fitness Center on August 3 in Santa Monica. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Others, embedded and tired as a result of social isolation and restrictions, have no desire to relive their lives, gathering airports, indoor bars and music venues.

For some, including vital front-line workers, the pandemic never felt like it was in the rearview mirror.

Among the changing guidelines for public health officials, risk assessments are highly personal. What’s the point of using specialized equipment in a covered gym, boarding a plane to see an older relative, or having a first date with someone with an unknown vaccination status?

The woman in the mask is inside a gym next to the ribbon strips

Gina Baski, owner of the TriFit Fitness Center in Santa Monica, said she lost more than 70 percent of her customers in the pandemic. A number of unused machines were shown at noon this month. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

At the TriFit gym, where Savas spent his last afternoon running in an elliptical machine, dozens of members have been left out in recent weeks, citing concerns about Delta, said co-owner Gina Baski.

About 70% had already canceled the pandemic, decided to work more quietly in masked conditions at home or in the gym.

Like many small business owners, Baski feels overwhelmed by recent setbacks.

People lift weights in an outdoor exercise class

An exercise class is held outdoors at the TriFit Fitness Center in Santa Monica on August 3rd. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

“It’s like a post-traumatic stress disorder,” she said, paying $ 30,000 to install it on an almost empty outdoor gym under a white wedding-sized cover. “We thought we were on the other side of it.”

Driven by highly contagious Delta variants, case rates and deaths are rising in Los Angeles County and nationwide. The interior mask has been returned to public spaces, and companies are delaying returning to the office.

In LA County, 19 people who are not vaccinated are 19 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than those who are fully vaccinated, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said last week.

But advanced infections, even mild ones, can cause persistent health problems, and fully embedded people can spread the Delta variant to others.

Robert Wachter is president of the UC San Francisco Department of Medicine return to double inner mask.

He has left the indoor dining room and poker nights with friends inserted. He will still board a plane, protected by an N95 mask, but only for the necessary trip.

If the case rates go down, it will reduce the measures, especially if you get a shot, he said.

“It’s disturbing, confusing and disappointing,” said Wachter, 63. “Two months ago, most of us thought we would be in a better place now and if it weren’t for Delta, we would be.”

People, some wearing masks and others not, walk outside

Visitors to the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade on August 3 are wearing masks and a mix of masks. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Earlier this summer, at the Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Barrett Jeffers and his colleagues were allowed to remove their face shields while maintaining masks and other measures.

This month, due to beds full of COVID-19 patients, the hospital sent an email and put up signs: shields would be needed again.

“It’s scary again,” said Jeffers, a technician who transports discharged and dead patients, recalling the winter storm. “It’s almost like you’re living.”

Jeffers lives with his asthmatic wife and daughter.

“I can’t take anything home,” he said.

Natalie Murphy, a psychiatrist at UCLA, moved from Canada to Canada with her partner in June, encouraged to live in a place where vaccines were plentiful and spirits high.

He planned to go to a gym and go to concerts. But as the case rate in Santa Monica has risen, it has held up. Many of his colleagues are disguised inside the house, as well as in a group where everyone is vaccinated.

“It feels like a marathon,” said 29-year-old Murphy, who was vaccinated in February. “You want it to rest and end, and you can’t see the destination.”

Murphy’s career in psychiatry has helped him cope with the “helplessness and inability” he feels as the virus spreads again.

“It keeps changing,” he said. “It might get better, but maybe not. I was ready for it, and now I’m accepting it.”

Some elderly people with family members, immunocompromised people, or some minors who are vaccinated are reducing their behavior.

Travon Rasberry bought tickets to a Chicago music festival in February after receiving the first dose of the vaccine.

It was a year since his last vacation. Concerns about the Delta variant prompted the hotel manager to cancel the next flight.

“The risk of getting Delta is not worth it,” Rasberry, 36, wrote in an email saying her mother cannot get the vaccine for medical reasons and her three nephews are too young.

Many other Americans are still getting on planes.

A man wearing masks is waiting outside the airport

Jethro Reyes, 27, who is trying to get home to Chicago after the wedding of a friend in Southern California, is waiting with other passengers outside LAX as he canceled hundreds of flights. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Jethro Reyes, 27, was in front of Los Angeles International Airport last week after his flight and hundreds of others were canceled.

He moved from Chicago to LA for a friend’s wedding.

“I came to have fun,” he said. “We are still following social disengagement and guidelines for wearing a mask.”

Later, on his return to Chicago, Reyes said he began to regret the trip.

The registered nurse wears a mask at home, lives with her parents and brother.

“Knowing what I know now, that the cases are going up, I would probably guess second,” he said.

Everett Farmer and Kevin McCormick played a Jenga game at the Third Street Promenade open-air mall in Santa Monica.

They said they would continue to disguise and follow public health guidance, but felt no need to take any further action under the influence of Delta.

However, they are not big in bars and they feel comfortable eating inside the house in restaurants.

Farmer, who works at Whole Foods, received a second dose of the 27-year-old vaccine last week. Her brother recently had to be intubated after hiring COVID-19. Delta’s fears and his brother’s urge prompted him to be vaccinated.

“We try to make every effort to stay away from people,” he said.

McCormick said he believes the media is overcoming the dangers of COVID-19.

Three people are outside wearing machines

Those who go to the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica on August 3 wear masks. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

“Masking and avoiding people who don’t mask us and avoid us” can be driven by drunk drivers and staying at home is “like saying,” McCormick said. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

In high-density, working-class neighborhoods like Lincoln Heights, the pandemic hit harder than in richer, whiter areas.

The rate of COVID-19 cases in Lincoln Heights, when almost the entire population is Latino or Asian, is three times higher than in Santa Monica.

“A few months ago it depended on how the world looked pink,” said Vickie M. Mays, a professor of health policy and management at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. “I don’t know if opening up necessarily had the same experience for everyone.”

Natalie Dinh, 18, works three days a week at Titop Nails in Lincoln Heights as her mother’s nail technician. Family friends closed their business during the pandemic.

Now, Dinh said, customers are back, even in the Delta scene. Today, Dinh is much more concerned about his family’s economy than the coronavirus.

“Even if we’re not comfortable with this pandemic or we’re scared, we need to get out there and make money,” he said.

The man of the house, Dinh has been cautious about others from the beginning.

He rarely eats in restaurants and always wears a mask. She has been vaccinated, as have her parents.

“I don’t really care,” Dinh said of the Delta variant. “We’re experiencing another pandemic. We’ve been there, done that.”

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.