After the Pandemic: 11 Things We’re Most Looking Forward To
Anyone who says they’re not looking forward to life after the pandemic is lying to you. The last 10 months have been difficult for large swaths of people all over the world. The lives we knew have been distant memories with no signs of coming back any time soon.
As depressing as that sounds, new hopes have arisen in the last 30 days with the arrival of two promising vaccines meant to help eradicate the spread of COVID-19. Time will tell how effective these vaccines are, but for now, we’re choosing to be optimistic. That means thinking more about the things we can’t wait to enjoy again once life gets back to “normal.” Here are our top picks.
1. Less Time Dumpster Diving on Social Media
There are few certainties in life. Death. Taxes. And Social Media bringing out the worst in everyone. What better time to be extra nasty than when people are dying, hugs are basically suicide, and people are walking around looking to start fights over masks? Oh yes, and let’s throw in a presidential election to boot!
Facebook, Twitter, and Parler, have not shown the better angels of our nature. In fact, these networks have greatly contributed to a breakdown in the social discourse. But when there is virtually nothing else to do, where else are you going to go but the endless scroll of angry friends’ feeds?
Thankfully, as life gets back to normal, we’re going to be able to ditch social media time relatively quickly because we’ll be able to actually hang out with friends and family members again. Sure, we’ll still be on there with our status updates and our doom-scrolling, but the occurrences will be far less frequent. And that’s a good thing.
2. More Fresh Air
Say what you want about masks being a great protector against airborne disease — and believe us, we think they are — but they certainly don’t do a lot of favors for one’s allergies. How many of you have had to clean house in the nostril region after a full day of wearing a mask and thought, “My God, how did all that fit up there?”
Gross, yes, but that’s what a shortage of fresh air and the moisture of your breath blowing back into your nose hairs and mixing with the trapped dirt particles and mucus will do to you.
3. Bars and Restaurants
Prior to the pandemic, we were all about getting together at sports bars, dives, restaurants, and all-night diners to hang out with friends, crack wise, and enjoy 3,000-calorie meals we totally didn’t need. We wanna go back there!
There is something communal about the bar/restaurant experience that feeds the soul. Being deprived of those things during the pandemic has made it difficult to find new means of socialization and entertainment. It’s also resulted in more “drinking alone” moments, which has triggered more anxiety and depression.
4. House Parties
These have not disappeared entirely under COVID-19 (although they probably should), but they’re sure not what they used to be. Nowadays, the halfway responsible house partier has to carefully consider how many of his or her friends can be invited. Following social distancing guidelines means being a lot more careful about who your close friends are, and that can put a damper on your social life.
After the pandemic, we’re excited about getting to know new people — mutual acquaintances who our friends have deemed worthy to bring along for the ride. It’ll be nice expanding our horizons and the potential for face-to-face communication.
5. Casual Hugs
The simple act of giving someone we care about a hug releases oxytocin, which has been called the “cuddling hormone.” This hormone makes us feel warm and fuzzy and affectionate and generally better about life. Hugging is also the last thing you want to do under the social distancing guidelines of COVID-19.
However, hugs are back on the table once this dreaded disease is under control. Hopefully, that will translate to a kinder society.
6. In-Person Classes
Online classes may be great for those who thrive working autonomously. Unfortunately, not everyone connects instantly with material, and online courses can leave something to be desired in that regard.
After the pandemic, we’ll finally be able to enjoy the in-person experience. That means being able to get real-time answers to questions from experts (read: teachers) instead of having to wait on a return email. Pretty cool!
7. Coffee Shops
Coffee shops were probably responsible for the vast amount of productivity prior to the pandemic. Now, not so much. In fact, you’re lucky to find one that is open except for pick-up and drive-thru only.
We really hope that changes after the pandemic. Coffee shop owners put a lot of work into creating an ambiance and lifestyle experience around the coffee bean that had basically consumed our culture. We’re itching to get back to it, though it’s hard to tell when or if that will ever happen at present.
8. Being Able to Read Faces Again
The mask-wearing, while welcome in the life-saving sense, has created something of a dilemma when going out in public. You can walk right by a family member and not recognize them. Furthermore, you can have difficulty reading someone’s emotions with just the top half of his or her face to work with.
Once the pandemic is over, we’ll be able to start relating to one another facially again. We’ll know who to avoid and who to embrace. Furthermore, we’ll know if someone is happy to see us or plotting our demise.
9. Not Getting Berated for Lack of Social Distancing
We’re all about social distancing. It is a great way to ensure you’re not spreading germs to others (or getting any of theirs to take home). But it’s not always possible to socially distance. Of course, the self-righteous won’t buy that even though there are several times per day they probably forget to do it themselves.
Nevertheless, nothing is worse than when you end up in one of those photographs where you’re a little too close to comfort to someone else and a commenter chimes in to shame you. After the pandemic, this is something we will not have to worry about anymore. The sooner we can get it out of our lives, the better!
10. Ditching the No-Mask Morons
So, have you found yourself in a store that clearly has a “Do Not Enter Without a Mask” sign on it when some (usually uneducated) idiot comes in with no mask and brazenly dares the minimum wage worker behind the counter to come-at-me-bro for breaking the clearly posted rules?
There are very few things that would make us consider thumping someone on the head, but this is one of them? What are you proving, tough guy? That you don’t have to care about other people or follow the rules of a private business? That you’re the most embarrassing person in the world for your loved ones to be around? That you stink at life?
Nothing about is sane. Nothing about it is considerate of others. Nothing about it is cool. After the pandemic, these people can go back to the holes they crawled out of and blend in with the rest of us. There will officially be nothing special about them that would give anyone a reason to care.
11. Live Sports and Concerts
Losing live sports and concerts was probably the biggest thing all of us had to get used to in the days shortly following the pandemic. Favorite sporting events or band tours were shut down immediately with no indication as to when they might be coming back. Baseball fans were replaced by cardboard cutouts of baseball fans. Boxing fight cards went from lavish resort hotels to some guys backyard. Football games were postponed, rescheduled, or canceled altogether.
On the music front, festivals were closed. Alcohol licenses were pulled when venues tried to defy public health mandates. College students found it more difficult to hear hot local acts on a Saturday night or to play in public for their own bands.
After the pandemic is over, we get to go back to the live venue. That will be great for the going-out types as well as the couch potatoes who want to have something interesting to watch on the weekends!
Life Is Looking Up After the Pandemic
Life after the pandemic will be a little strange at first, but we’ve no doubt that it’s like riding a bicycle. Once you learn how to manage your freedoms, you’ll embrace them fully and it’ll be like they never left you, with one small exception: you’ll never take it for granted.
What are you most looking forward to about life after the pandemic, readers? Share your picks in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Outdoors.org]