That period marked “the best weeks our businesses have had in a very long time,” Mr. Morse, the town manager, said. It was, he said, a sense of release that they all needed.
“There was a collective feeling that everyone had been through so much, individually and collectively, over the last 18 months,” he said.
Steve Katsurinis, the chair of the town Board of Health, said the venues were in line with C.D.C. guidance.
“We were told, ‘Now you’re vaccinated, and everyone is vaccinated, you can go out and live the pre-Covid lifestyle,’” he said. “People did, they were living with gusto. We were led to believe, ‘If you get the vaccine, you can go to a dance club, you can go to a house party and meet someone and make out.’ That’s what we thought the situation was.”
‘Delta is a different thing’
By the end of the week, Mr. Katsurinis was taking reports of positive coronavirus cases — all gay men, with an average age of 30 to 35, many of whom who had seen a doctor for other reasons, like flu symptoms or sexually transmitted infections, not suspecting the coronavirus. What puzzled him, he said, was that so many of the infected people were vaccinated.
“I couldn’t believe, frankly, that vaccinated people were getting and spreading it, the way that the contact tracing people were saying,” he said. “I had that moment of saying, ‘I don’t believe that data is accurate.’”