By Nicole Nielsen

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The month of March symbolizes one year after the world changed from COVID-19.

Many are taking on 2021, hopeful that normalcy is on the horizon.

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“It’s been a year of change for sure, and I would say I am ready to get back to some normal,” said Taylor Durham of Fort Worth.

We underwent lockdowns, learned to mask and stayed socially distant.

Fast forward to today, and over 44,000 Texas lives have been lost to the virus.

It’s wreaked havoc on businesses, bars and shopping centers. Many are excited to reopen.

“We are very excited, it hurt our pocket books, and our wallets very much so,” said Brock Boltmann of Big Fish Seafood and Bar in Grapevine.

“With the impending opening of all the shops again and the mask mandate being lifted, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about that,” Durham said.

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There are signs North Texans may be ready to take steps forward.

At Highland Park United Methodist Church on Sunday, an old tradition was reinstated.

Communion was taken in person for the first time since last March.

“It’s hard to believe that today was one year to the weekend that we decided to suspend public worship,” said Paul Rasmussen, senior minister at HPUMC.

Rev. Rasmussen said it hasn’t been an easy road — in fact, far from it.

“We are 12 months in and people are really eager to get back together socially,” he said.

It may be vaccines, lifting the mask order or the anniversary altogether, but he says many are feeling a new sense of optimism.

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“There was a palpable sense of energy in the sanctuary today that has not been in there for a long time,” he said.

Nicole Nielsen