• Nora Hemsley

Post-COVID Bucket List

Last year, I wrote a short bucket list for Scribbling. Little did I know that the virus that was making its way around the world would strike the United States and send us into quarantine only a few weeks later. It has been almost a year now that the United States, specifically Maryland, went into full lockdown. Since that time, life has been completely turned upside down. This time has definitely made me nostalgic for concerts, in-person assemblies at school and cheese samples at the grocery store. I am very privileged to be able to miss these types of things, instead of missing family members, a job or financial stability, which are all things that many have lost during this time. I wanted to create a list of small and big aspects of my life that I am excited to experience once I can be sure I can do them safely, just to remind myself of things to look forward to AND selfish reasons to continue being safe.


1. Going to Denver to ski and visit my family

I have a few cousins, an aunt and an uncle that live in Boulder and even more family that lives in Denver. When my family and I went to visit them for a few years, we also skied at Breckenridge, and it was so much fun. Even though I partially hate skiing, being in the beautiful mountains and seeing the snow-painted view around me was so peaceful (when I’m not falling that is). The area that my cousins live in near Denver has so many cool restaurants and shops, and I think I was too young to fully appreciate how cool their town is. I also really miss them since it's been a while since we last saw each other. Once I feel comfortable getting on a plane and traveling, I will definitely go to visit them.


2. Hugging

This isn’t as big an action as flying across the country or anything, but I miss hugs so much. In my experience going to Holton, hugs was the main way I said hi to people (if they were comfortable hugging me too of course). Since COVID, I always feel quite awkward saying hello to people because I can’t hug them, or at least shake their hand (this mainly applied to random acquaintances of my parents). I think hugging people will feel quite uncomfortable when it is first ok to do so, and I would not be entirely surprised if as a society we continue our new ways of socializing that involve limited physical touch. The first person I want to hug that I haven’t been able to is my 91-year-old grandmother; she has really severe respiratory problems and lives in a retirement home, so I have been very nervous for her (but she is, I hope, getting the vaccine in February!)


3. Baking and cooking for others

I have done a little of this within my COVID bubble, but I miss being able to bring treats in for classmates or cook for multiple friends who are INSIDE my house (imagine that lol). From what I’ve read, cooking and baking for others isn’t as high risk as other things, so I hope I can do this item soon :). When I can finally come to school unmasked with everyone there, I WILL be baking several cakes. Even if this is in my senior year of college, I am committed to celebrating with some baked goods.


4. Eating Inside a Restaurant (specifically Mama Lucia)

Don’t ask me why Mama Lucia is the first restaurant that comes to mind when I think of post-Covid dining, but oh my goodness do I really miss the smell of fresh pizza. I have definitely gotten some take out Mama Lucia, and food from other places, but it just doesn’t taste the same. There is something so satisfying about hot pizza and pasta (specifically the penne alla vodka without prosciutto) that you just can’t recreate. I am pretty sure Mama Lucia won't be the first place I go when I get the ok from Dr. Fauci, but it is on my list. I also am excited to be able to split a meal with someone again (although COVID has made me realize how kind of unsanitary that is).


5. Going to the gym

Don’t get me wrong, I love erging in my basement alone (sort of… not really) or watching online YouTube workout videos, but there is something so motivating about going to the gym and seeing other people on their grind. I also miss trying to figure out new machines when 30-year-old bodybuilders watch (judge) me from afar. It does really motivate you. I miss going on the stairmaster and almost falling to my death at every step. Ahh, the good days. I can say that I do not miss people who grunt very aggressively on the machine next to me. But still, it's all part of the experience.


6. Rowing in an 8!!!

This goes with the last one, but rowing has changed extremely over the last year. I haven’t been in an eight (an eight is basically just what rowers call a boat with eight seats) since November 2019, and I miss it SO MUCH. Crew is such a team sport, and there really is nothing like rowing your hardness with seven teammates and a coxswain around you. THAT is motivation. It might take another year until I can do this, but I know it is going to be so amazing to sit in those boats again.


7. Leahy Family reunion

The Leahys are my mom’s side of the family, and there are a lot of us. I am the youngest of many cousins and even more second cousins (but we see them just as much, so I usually drop the “second”), and growing up into a chaotic, loud, fun family has definitely made me an extrovert. It's crazy to think that 20 of us piled into a house in Minnesota Thanksgiving 2019 because that is a Covid nightmare, but those were truly the best times. Wherever it may be, I cannot wait to have 20 cousins pile onto a couch to watch some stupid, hilarious movie while eating Brigham’s ice cream.