WHAT are you most looking forward to when everything goes back to normal?
It's a great question, isn't it? At the moment, our normal lives are on hold as the nation remains in lockdown – and it's hard to see past the weeks of quarantine and social distancing that lay ahead. It's also very easy, with all the bad news circulating daily about death tolls and economic impact, to lose sight of the fact that "this too shall pass."
With that in mind, I asked a group of my friends what they are most looking forward to when the state of emergency is deemed to be over. Using their answers along with some of my own, here is a list of things that we have look forward to once we have defeated the coronavirus.
Hugging Our Elderly Friends & Relatives
For many, the hardest part of all this is not being able to visit their elderly parents, grandparents, neighbours and friends as they are among the most vulnerable in our society and most at risk of contracting the virus. In just a few short months, however, we will be able to meet with them, hug them, kiss them, shake hands with them, have tea and chats with them and do everything we once took for granted.
Going For A Few Pints
The closing of our pubs was a turning point when a lot of people realised that Covid-19 was something to be taken seriously. The local pub is the epicentre of many Irish communities. It's where joyous moments are celebrated and painful moments are shared and sympathised. It's also the answer to the often asked question "where's the craic?" When it's safe to do so we will all raise a glass and celebrate this being over.
Going For A Coffee With Friends
This is something we all took for granted before coronavirus and social distancing, just slowing down our day a little and catching up with a friend over a cup of coffee. When the virus is finally gone, many of us will be heading straight to our favourite coffee shop for a catch up that doesn't have to be on an electronic device or 6 feet apart.
Most cafes and restaurants have closed down (except for a few who can still do take away) and many of us are looking forward to the day when we can enjoy a delicious meal from our favourite restaurant again – and not have to cook so much ourselves. In a few short months, we will be able to get dressed up, book a table, savour some amazing food cooked by a master chef and not have to load the dishwasher afterwards.
While there are far more important things that will need to return before sport, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that this is one of the things I am most looking forward to. I miss playing sport and watching sport more than I could ever have imagined. When it's safe to do so, I cannot wait to get back to playing 5-s-side with my friends, training with my club and enjoying all of the soccer, GAA, golf, MMA, NFL, wrestling, basketball and tennis I can reasonably watch. I'm even cool with the fact that Liverpool will be crowned champions shortly after the Premier League is resumed. On second thoughts, I can wait another while for that.
Sadly, for now, most people’s summer holidays have been put on hold as non-essential travel is not currently recommended. It might be a while before we will be able and advised to fly to a sun-soaked overseas destination but in a few months we will be able to move freely around our own beautiful country again so this year let’s keep our holidays native to support the Irish economy and the tourism industry.
Going To The Gym
While the most dedicated followers of fitness have diligently stuck to their daily home workouts and fitness challenges, the vast majority are struggling to find the motivation to turn their living room into a workout space. Exercise is vital to our physical and mental health so many of us are eagerly awaiting the day the gyms open their doors to the public again.
Not Working From Home
It sounded like a dream come true until the reality of sitting in your kitchen on a laptop, not showering for days and not interacting with other humans really started to hit home. It'll be nice to see your colleagues faces (not on Zoom) and chat and go out for lunch once this is all over.
Kids Going Back To School
Parents who currently have to mind their children all day – especially those who are also working from home – will be looking forward to schools reopening and getting back to their old routines. Kids who are bored with being stuck at home will also be delighted to see their friends and teachers again. I think many will have a newfound respect for teachers after all this too.
Not Having To Queue For The Supermarket
Thankfully the dreaded toilet paper shortage never materialised but we are currently faced with long queues just to get inside the door of our local supermarket. We'll all be very glad when we can once again pop to the shops to pick up a few bits without the queues and the social distancing measures.
Going To The Cinema
Film buffs across the globe are being deprived of new movies and their cinema experience right now. Blockbusters like 'No Time To Die', 'Mulan', 'Wonder Woman 1984' and 'Black Widow' have all had their release dates pushed back by a few months so there's plenty of trips to the cinema to look forward to when they reopen.
Having A Social Life
Socializing has been replaced by social distancing for the last two months and we're all longing for the day when this is no longer the case. Going out, going to night clubs, going to festivals, going to events, going on dates and all of the other social activities we love will all be back in a few months.
Let's try to look forward to sunnier days ahead. To after we have come out the other side of this, as unscathed as possible and we can celebrate living our normal lives again! Let's look at this strange time as a moment to reflect on what's most important in our lives and where we want to go from here. Use this time to reconnect with what's important to you and look forward to what lies ahead.