People hugging. Image: Helena Lopes via Unsplash

3 Things I Want To Do When This Pandemic Ends

When you live in a country that has flipped between hard lockdowns and freedom, it’s quite easy to get sentimental. Possibly angry, too. Currently, I’m in lockdown in Sydney, Australia due to a virulent strain of Covid-19 — which truly sucks considering we were going so well. We could dance in nightclubs, dine in at restaurants, and have sex with irregular partners. But here we are again, in lockdown with little to do.

Of course, even when things were open, we weren’t truly free. Some things were still on hold for many of us. And still are. Things we want to do but simply cannot because of Covid-19 — yes, even when everything seems safe. Things like planning big events without fear of a Covid-related cancellation, or finally throwing out your reusable masks, or even something as simple as screaming on a rollercoaster.

You may have your own small list, and we may share a few of them, but all of us have something we miss. Or something we’ve longed to do. These are mine.

Hug properly

Nothing beats a warm embrace that feels more emotional than physical. When you clutch someone so tightly that both hearts beat together as one; Where the support screams like a clear message that you are indeed loved — and how it releases all your tension and brings clarity to your otherwise flailing mind. That is what I miss.

Sure, I’ve hugged people during the open times when Australia’s local restrictions were mostly relaxed. But it always came with the unconscious thought that this is what spreads the virus. The hesitancy masked all the good feelings, and it was simply just another greeting. Another way of saying hello. With perhaps a tinge of hope that everything will soon be normal again. Rarely were those hugs truly emotional.

So I vow that when the pandemic ends, I will hug people properly. Not just to greet them, but to show them they are loved. That we are all loved.

Cherish family visits

I haven’t seen my family in nearly a month now due to this current lockdown. Of course, that’s a more privileged position than others who haven’t seen their family since the pandemic began. But whether it’s one month or 20 months, anytime spent apart from family due to circumstances that are out of your control is hard. And so, because of this, every time I hang with the family again will be an event I cherish.

This is not to say that my past family visits weren’t cherished. Some of them were great events, ones that I’ll remember dearly. But many of those visits were just another part of my day; another hang out, another catch-up, another way of keeping up appearances.

So I vow that when the pandemic ends, I will cherish my family visits. Even the ones that aren’t so eventful. Because we never know when we’ll be forced apart or when we’ll never see them again.

Start dating

I’ve enjoyed the single life for so long that I never really entertained the idea of finding love. That is until this pandemic hit. And I have to admit that this current lockdown would be much better if I had someone to love. Someone I could cuddle with when the going got tough, someone who could keep me company, someone who could relieve my stress.

It sucks to be single during a pandemic.

But I’m also 30 years old now — having celebrated alone thanks to this pandemic — and I fear that it’s either now or never. I’m not getting any younger. It’s about time that I find the one and experience the true meaning of love. Because the fact is, I never have, and I think part of my problem is that I enjoy sex too much. I’m used to the ease of attaining sex thanks to Grindr, so much so that I’ve wrongfully accepted that finding love is impossible — especially on Grindr. But that kind of thinking is not helpful anymore. And it’s not true.

The only thing I can do now is to start dating. How do I know if finding love is hard if I haven’t properly tried it yet?

So I vow that when the pandemic ends, I will start dating. Because it’s about time I fall in love.

And isn’t that just it? That it’s always about time? Sure, it’s not the right time to do all that we want, but it’s about time we hold onto that hope. Even if you live in a country where it feels so hopeless, there is always hope that the sun will come out tomorrow, and it all starts with us taking responsibility for our actions and getting vaccinated. These are the only two things that will get us out of this pandemic and into a world where we can do all the things we want to do.

Better now than never.

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