The end of this dark tunnel looks pretty close, yet I don’t want to get my hopes up just yet. The tunnel I’m referring to is the pandemic in case some of you haven’t heard of it yet. The vaccine distribution process is speeding up (Thanks, President Biden), and more Americans are getting vaccinated every day. My professors and adults around me who have been vaccinated have started traveling and interacting with others indoors without masks. The possibility of the ordinary has never felt so good. I want to bring up the negative parts like the new variants, the many surges across the world, and limited entrance to countries outside of the U.S., but we’ll keep this article light. In light of our shared hope of normal, this week, I want to make a short list of things I want to do/look forward to doing once I am vaccinated (with other vaccinated people). A disclaimer I do have is that none of us have an idea what a truly-post pandemic world will look like, so this article is based on what I imagine it could be like if we returned to our pre-pandemic worlds along with some exceptions. I realize that this list is very optimistic, but hey, give me a break; at least I can live vicariously through my daydreams.
- Go to college
No more zoom for me, time to have the so-called “best years of my life.” I would love to meet more of my peers, meet my professors, and meet my friends in person. It’s just another kind of connection when you can see the person and interact with them. Spontaneous trips to the city, cafe studying, and libraries here we come.
- Seeing friends and family again
For me, home is India. It’s been more than five years since I’ve seen my grandparents and some more for other relatives. The privilege of going home and spending time with my loved ones is one of the biggest things this pandemic has taken from me.
Mostly for me, traveling is to see other distant family and friends. This will probably happen in 2022 or after herd immunity globally, but the hope of traveling and seeing them is exciting.
- Going to a restaurant
TBH, this is not a priority for me, but I think many people would have this on their post-pandemic list. I think once I walk into a restaurant, a wave of nostalgia will come to me of less sanitized and more crowded environments.
This one. This is the one. Every store, restaurant, and public space has dramatically increased the amount of cleaning, sanitation, and hygienic practices present and enforced within their environments. I hope they continue to maintain some standard of this for the sake of all our well-being. And can we normalize masks during flu season and whenever you’re sick?
- Flexibility and greater incorperation of technology more into ordinary life
I hope that institutions will increase their technology utilization, especially since many employees got hands-on training during the pandemic. By this, I mean offering both in-person and virtual options for things like office hours, tutoring, career services, conferences. This will allow more people to take advantage of these options and decrease the environmental impact of transport (for commuters at least). Maybe one day, an entirely virtual college schedule would be an option for those who need it as an option as well.
- Volunteering and work
Due to the pandemic, my volunteer work at a local healthcare center was halted, and I haven’t been back for over a year now. Moreover, many of my volunteer coordinators were furloughed due to the pandemic, so I hope that they can get back on their feet soon. Moreover, several of my volunteer places were halted abruptly with the pandemic, so I am looking forward to going back and saying high to the employees and people there.
I have had my BTS Concert tickets just sitting in my account starting at me for the last year. I am hopeful that the concert continues as planned and there is just more distancing at the venue. However, I do recognize this is testing my luck and shows as big as this one won’t be back to normal until 2022 at the earliest.
Anyway, hang in there everyone. Just a month left until this semester ends and we are plunged into light (literally and metaphorically because summer and vaccination hopes. : )