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You've probably noticed that Texans are starting to get out and live their lives again. If you thought it was only happening in Lubbock, it's not according to new polls released by the Texas Tribune and the University of Texas.

According to the Texas Tribune, 21% of Texas voters said they only leave the house when they absolutely have to. A year ago? That number was at 63%. In fact, more than half of Texans feel comfortable doing a wide range of activities like grocery shopping and getting a haircut to flying in an airplane and attending an outdoor sporting event.

How people feel today is nothing compared to how Texans felt this time last year.

In the first UT/TT Poll of the pandemic, conducted a year ago, 63% of Texans said they were “only leaving my residence when I absolutely have to.” That has fallen to 21%; in the current poll, 33% said they were “living normally, coming and going as usual,” and another 44% said they are still leaving home, “but being careful when I do.” The majority of Democrats, 55%, were in that last group, while 55% of Republicans said they are living normally.

That doesn't mean everything is back to normal though. According to the Texas Tribune, 74% of people say they are avoiding large groups while 64% are still avoiding other people, and 80% will still wear a mask when is close contact with people outside their own households.

But we are still getting back to normal, and I think that is a good thing and something to celebrate.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

 

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.