Things I Won’t Take for Granted After COVID-19

As we all know, COVID-19 has resulted in everybody staying home in isolation and thus causing many of the businesses that we love to be closed. Many of us never thought we would live to see the day where stores limit the number of people allowed in them, all nonessential businesses being closed and restaurants only allowing takeout. Don’t get me wrong, all of this has been very helpful with controlling the pandemic, but it really has made me realize how many things in my daily life I was never thankful for since they were always there. So here’s my list of what I will never take for granted once COVID-19 has passed. 


  1. 1. My 7:45 am classes at the school I love

    classrooom and students with a projector

    I used to absolutely despise waking up early to make the trek to my early morning class. It used to be a pain to wake up bright and early to go sit in a lecture hall while trying to not doze off. Here I am though in quarantine wishing I could just have one more morning where I had to motivate myself to rise out of bed, walk up Bascom Hill in Madison and have my friend there flick me in the head when I would start to doze. I never knew how much those early morning walks and crammed lecture halls actually meant to me until they were gone.

  2. 2. The ability to walk into a restaurant 

    Harry Potter World Leaky Cauldron

    The convenience of takeout and drive-thrus always made sense. Use them when you do not have time to sit down at a table and eat. Having these options is something I will be grateful for from now on. Let me just tell you ordering a pint through the Culver’s drive-thru is no small feat. It just might be the most tedious task ever and usually goes something like this.     “Do you have Oreo Cheesecake?”..... “No”     “Do you have anything with cheesecake?”..... “Dulce de Leche”     “Oh, I don’t like that kind so anything with oreo?”..... “Yes”     “Well, what kinds” ….. “Original, mint, loaded and cheesecake”     “Wait, you have oreo cheesecake!?” 

  3. 3. Being able to cough in public without being glared at 

    face mask prevention

    I understand during a time like this anxiety and concern surround people coughing and spreading germs in public. I completely stand behind this. Unfortunately, I am a sufferer of allergies, something that started 3 weeks before COVID-19 rampaged the United States. When I need to get groceries, more notebooks or allergy medicine I have to hold my breath when I feel the urge to cough out of fear of others’ reactions. I am looking forward to the day where coughing into your elbow is considered good manners instead of a crime in a public place when it is simply just the pollen aggravating your throat.

  4. 4. Shopping in person with dressing rooms at stores 


    Stores justly decided to close fitting rooms for the time being to protect the health of their customers. I very quickly have realized that I do not take the proper amount of time to appreciate fitting rooms. Entering Target looking to DIY a pair of jeans I did not comprehend that I needed to try these on for sizing. I found accommodations within the store and I was not discovered, but let’s just say at the time I also did not know that changing my clothes in a rack of dresses in the corner is apparently disorderly conduct in legal terms.

  5. 5. Movie theaters and more importantly, their popcorn

    Movies have made their productions available on streaming services for rent as their premieres were no longer accessible in theaters. Going to the movies just makes the experience so much better. It feels different and special compared to just a lazy night in the house. The two have become synonymous now. Also, let’s be honest we all know that movie theater popcorn is superior to all other brands, types and forms. I do not know what they do to their kernels, but they are a luxury I actively miss.

  6. 6. Hair and nail salons

    valentine nails

    Being able to call my hair or nail salon to schedule an acrylic nail fill, trim or eyebrow wax was something I used to be able to do with a maximum wait of a week. Now, I am not sure when my nails will be pretty again, my split ends cut and my outgrown brows shaped. Also, my acrylic nails have become a very important part of my life as they ended my nervous habit of biting my nails. Since my habit has returned and my fingers have bandaids on them more times than not. Although there is technically nowhere that I can go or people I can see outside of Facetime, there is something about feeling clean, put together and styled that creates confidence. Confidence that we all need during this troubling and trying time.

  7. 7. My Amazon Prime account 

    online shopping with credit card

    Relying on my Amazon Prime account is something I have become way too guilty of. The two-day shipping has saved me from many disasters and allowed me to avoid very near crises. Given the situation, Amazon Prime no longer has two-day shipping. A completely understandable consequence of the global pandemic, it still makes me think about how much I never noticed how appreciative I was of this. It really makes me feel that the monthly fee I pay to have a prime account is so worth it.

  8. 8. State Parks 

    Maria Scheller-Jumping National Park Colorado Happy

    In Wisconsin, the state parks remained open for a short amount of time after the safer at home order went into effect. While they remained open I found myself driving there to walk my dog and thankful to get the fresh air. Since they have remained closed and the sidewalks around my town do not nearly give me the same smells or views. State parks go underappreciated as they always remain open and accessible, but COVID-19 has forced their closing due to social distancing guidelines. When they reopen I will no longer put off going to them the next day as that might not always be an option I see now.

  9. 9. Spending time and being able to hug friends 

    I am a highly extroverted person, but I do have my introverted moments from time to time. This quarantine though is way too much for my minimal introverted self as I have gone stir crazy to an absurd degree. My friends facetime me and I find myself asking them not to hang up because I miss interacting with others that are not in my immediate family. This does not replace a quality movie night with friends, getting all dressed up for a night out with your besties or simply having a shoulder to cry on. Friends though are the best for hugs, whether it be an excited, sorrowful or goodbye hug, they are always there. Let’s just say when this is all over I will hug a little tighter and cherish it a little longer.

  10. 10. The front line workers 

    woman holding syringe wearing PPE

    In countless areas of our society, there are people who do not have the option of working from home right now as they are needed for our society to continue to function. Healthcare workers, grocery and department store workers, law enforcement, first responders, truck drivers, factory workers, postal service employees, and many more are occupations we find ourselves looking past. All of these jobs are not only valuable during this pandemic, but before and after too. I know after all of the chaos has subsided I will never take these occupations for granted and I will make sure to extend a smile accompanied by a warm thank you for all of their hard work. All of these individuals are putting themselves at risk to help others and allow society to continue to function. During a time like this, these workers are heroic.

Quarantine has taught me many things about myself and society. I have been able to realize everything I have in my life and all that I should be more thankful for every day. Simple things I am so used to having disappeared in an instance. Although for a very necessary purpose, when all the things I miss are allowed once again I will not go unappreciative. During a time like this, it also illuminates how people live their lives when they are not as fortunate and do not have access to any of the things I wish I had access to once again. Not only will I be thankful for these, but I will also make sure I put more effort into making sure all individuals have access to the things that I now understand have an impact in my life, no matter how big or small. Quarantine has shown me that all the little silly things truly impact my life.