A collective longing
We're looking forward to a post‑pandemic world.

Published March 14, 2021

Performing music to an adoring audience. Playing ultimate Frisbee with friends. Sampling the new ice cream flavor at Costco. Riding public transit. Smiling at a stranger. Hugging.

A year ago, ordinary interactions became out of reach. Stay-home orders and social distancing precautions took hold. A virus was spreading, out of control.

The pandemic still rages, but vaccines are rolling out. Now that some of our most vulnerable people are getting protected, we can finally imagine going back to the world before.

So what are you most looking forward to?

More than 400 people called or wrote in to The Seattle Times to answer this question. The responses show many of us want the same things — connection, adventure, community, and a return to routine, everyday life.

This is a collective longing.

Yearning for touch, a shared meal, love
I can’t wait to go to
a movie theater again.
And the movie — that’s irrelevant.
I just want to get there,
buy an ungodly amount of popcorn,
getting excited while watching the trailers,
and hearing people in the audience
just laughing, gasping or crying.
So like the camaraderie
of strangers in the dark.
Jackie , 65 , administration
Stepping on a plane, riding a train, checking off a new item on a bucket list
I really miss —
I know this sounds funny —
I miss dancing on Friday and Saturday nights,
and I miss karaoke on Sunday nights,
and obviously I miss filming, which —
the movie industry has been shut down, so...
Oh, and let’s not forget my kids who are in L.A.
whom I have not seen in a long time.
Mel , 74 , filmmaker
Reuniting with others in the classroom, at church, on the dance floor
I would like to go to a hair salon
and have - finally - a haircut.
I’m now sporting a ponytail
and it doesn’t look very good.
And then the next appointment I will make
with my dentist because
I need to clean my dents.
Returning to some kind of normalcy, no masks, less fear

Engagement editors: Michelle Baruchman, Anna Patrick and Jenn Smith

Audio production: Lauren Frohne

Illustrations: Jennifer Luxton

Design and development: Lauren Flannery

Editing: Laura Gordon, Benjamin Woodard, Emily M. Eng and Frank Mina

Don’t Miss
What are you looking forward to after the pandemic? Let us know in the comments below.
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