What I’m Looking Forward To in 2021 Post-Covid

a group of people walking on a beach

The Coronavirus pandemic is testing each of us to the depths of our very souls. But like everything, it too shall pass. There’ll be a day in the future — a bright day brimming with bubbly optimism and lighthearted good vibes — where we’ll all seem to look around and let out one, epic collective sigh of sweet relief. Things have undoubtedly been tough, and many of us have done the best we can to adapt, while our world as we previously knew it was completely turned upside down. But every day we grow closer toward establishing our new normal and becoming more comfortable with the way the world is, ever since the Coronavirus decided to crash the party.

With that being said, there’s nothing wrong with salvaging one’s sanity by using positive visualizations and daydreaming about what we can most look forward to in a 2021 post-Covid world. Here are a handful of things I’m actively looking forward to, whenever we come out the other end of this dang uncertain reality.

A proper vacation in a sunny paradise.

I have never been more ready for an extended stay away from home, and a trip out to some faraway, golden, perpetually pleasant, oceanside resort. Seriously, the need has never been felt on a more painfully deep level to travel to a peaceful vacation destination. I can just picture the arrival, the easy smile, the relaxed shoulders, the margarita by the pool, and maybe even finally taking those stand up paddle boarding lessons — as long as the water’s warm enough, which of course it’ll be.

It’s like we’ve all been doing the best we can to muddle through a reality that’s right out of a dystopian novel, and it’s completely reasonable for anyone to want to get lost in a sun-soaked dream of a vacation. So yes, I am looking forward to being able to safely travel to a tropical paradise somewhere, with no fear of catching or spreading the Coronavirus, in 2021.

A visit to Mammoth Cave National Park.

Many of us have had to deal with the unfortunate situation of postponing trips we were looking forward to. In my case, I was eagerly awaiting the big journey out to Mammoth Cave National Park — a wildly impressive Mammoth Cave National Park with its 412 miles of unexplored tunnels out in the scenic lands of Kentucky. Plus, the Green and Nolin Rivers run through the actual park and offer any interested visitors the chance for kayaking, fishing, and boating. It’s pretty much the dream setup for anyone with a proclivity for getting lost in the great outdoors.

But alas, Coronavirus put a temporary hold on those plans. Instead, some of the biggest adventures I’ve taken in the last six months or so have been to the liquor store. While it’s obviously important to keep that home bar well stocked (especially with winter coming), this is but a weak replacement for the grand adventure to Mammoth Cave National Park that awaits in 2021. Get ready, I’m coming for you Mammoth Cave National Park!

Watching a movie in the theater without a mask.

Imagine knowing that we’d eventually live in a world where you’re required to attend movies with a mask on, and can only take that mask off for sips of water, or quick nibbles of popcorn! I desperately long for the days when we’ll all be able to attend movies in theaters, without having to worry about covering our faces when we’re done enjoying our delicious movie snacks.

Carefree Hugs

This one might hurt the most right now. Many of us have been forced to endure extended periods of time without being able to make physical contact with other human beings, for fear of catching COVID-19. Some folks haven’t been able to hug their loved ones in ungodly amounts of time. This can wear on the morale, and make the heart feel awfully heavy.

Oh, to return to the days of carefree hugs will be a beautiful blessing celebrated by all of us. You won’t have to worry about dousing your hands in hand sanitizer, or obsessively taking showers throughout the day, or get paranoid if you develop a scratch in your throat after you hugged that one friend for the first time in four months. No, instead you’ll be able to hug and move right along with the rest of your day. I can’t wait until those days return!

Attending a concert in person.

While we’ve had plenty of bands make the extra effort to deliver our fans their work in the virtual realm, it’s just not the same thing. You can’t beat the buzz of walking into your favorite venue, grabbing a cold one, and posting up to listen to your favorite band sing your favorite song in person. It’s a magical experience, truly.

Finally being able to return to those days of attending concerts in person will be an immeasurably happy moment. It will really feel like we’ve all turned the corner, and come out the other end of this dark time in history.

Hitting the gym without a mask on.

Even though it’s absolutely necessary, it’s no easy feat hopping on that treadmill and pounding out a solid run with a mask on. Or, even being faced with the same masked necessity when it comes to running outside. I can’t wait until the day when we can all clock our cardio without having to do so with a mask on. Just the feel of that fresh air on the face, and not having to gasp for air from behind a mask might actually make us all run further than we’ve ever before, purely out of the intoxicating gratitude we’ll feel for not having to run with the mask on anymore. Bring it on!

Stress-Free Haircuts

Even though many of us have been able to return to some kind of normalcy when it comes to grooming our prior quarantine manes, we’re still faced with the undeniable reality that it’s just a little bit stressful being in such close quarters with other human beings that are likely all equally terrified of the dang Coronavirus. Here’s to hoping that 2021 delivers, and we’re able to stroll carefree into our favorite barbershop to sit down, have a warm conversation, and never a worry in the back of our mind about confronting the COVID-19.

Having friends over for get-togethers again.

This one hit us all in a painful way. At best, we’re limited to small gatherings, and at worst, we’re just not able to see those folks that we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. By 2021, we can all hope for the days when we’ll be able to host dinners and gatherings at our places without having to worry about anyone catching COVID. Just being able to sit around a table, break bread, knock back some stiff drinks, and look back at how crazy 2020 truly got, will be a therapeutic process for us all.

Well, that about covers all the core things that I’m looking forward to the most with the dawn of 2021, and the eventual passing of this storm that is the Coronavirus pandemic. Until then, it’s on all of us to maintain a positive outlook, remember that this too shall pass, and do what we can to keep everyone safe until that day arrives!