Life after lockdown: ‘I can’t wait to be in a room full of voices singing in harmony’

We asked you what you’re most looking forward to as Covid-19 restrictions ease

Laura Johnston, from Ringsend, leaves Penneys on Mary Street as non-essential retail opened for click-and-collect and appointment-only shopping as part of a major easing of lockdown restrictions on Monday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Laura Johnston, from Ringsend, leaves Penneys on Mary Street as non-essential retail opened for click-and-collect and appointment-only shopping as part of a major easing of lockdown restrictions on Monday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

After a long five months of lockdown, Covid-19 restrictions in Ireland have started to ease. We asked you to tell us what you are most looking forward to doing again as the rules continue to relax. From being reunited for a family wedding to enjoying a relaxing pedicure, here are some of the activities you cannot wait for.

‘Visit relatives I’ve never met . . . as a baby of Tuam’

MICHAEL BYRNE
Medwar, Massachusetts, United States
Visit relatives I’ve never met, being adopted out of Ireland 60 years ago! Being a banished baby of Tuam, this means so much to me!

‘Post-pedicure I shall float, no longer anchored to Earth by my curling, witches’ nails’

PATRICIA DONLON
Ireland

The ‘big excitement’ for Patricia Donlon is to have a long-awaited pedicure
The ‘big excitement’ for Patricia Donlon is to have a long-awaited pedicure

The big excitement for me this week is that I am having a pedicure tomorrow. Oh, the luxury! But, not really a luxury, for when you reach my age (78) your toe nails have emigrated to unreachable realms – somewhere down there. Already toenails have burst through numerous socks, snagged on the bedclothes and have generally become a health and safety hazard. Hence my breath-holding excitement at the prospect of sitting in a chair with my feet in hot water awaiting the snipping, filing and massaging of handmaidens (almost exclusively female). To know that post-pedicure I shall float, no longer anchored to Earth by my curling, witches’ nails. Tomorrow to fresh fields and pastures new. Oh the indulgence of life post Covid lockdown! Brave New World.

You can still let us know what it is you’re itching to return to as more restrictions ease. Use the form above and we will publish a selection of your submissions on irishtimes.com and in The Irish Times newspaper. If you are reading this on The Irish Times app, click here.

‘The longest time in our lives that we haven’t been in each other’s company. It viscerally hurts’

ISOLDE Ó BROLCHÁIN CARMODY
Manorhamilton, Ireland

Isolde Ó Brolcháin Carmody cannot wait to see her mum after being apart for nearly 18 months
Isolde Ó Brolcháin Carmody cannot wait to see her mum after being apart for nearly 18 months

I haven’t seen my mum in nearly 18 months. It was January 2020 when I was last with her down in Dublin. We’re both disabled, so it’s not a simple or inexpensive proposition for us to visit each other. When restrictions were lifted last summer, my number one plan was to hug my mother. Then she got Covid. Thankfully, it wasn’t bad enough to warrant hospitalisation, but it has left her with long Covid. But she was ill at exactly the point in time when I could have seen her. I could have hugged her. Now it’s nearly a year later – we’re not going to see each other until we’re both fully vaccinated. But it has been the longest time in both of our lives that we haven’t been in each other’s company. It viscerally hurts. Even when the rest of the world gets back to normal, I’ll still be living in lockdown conditions. There is no local accessible public transport, and the Government doesn’t fund private accessible transport plus the driver I would need to get out of my house independently. I’ve been enjoying online working during the pandemic, but I won’t be able to compete – not as a performing artist – once mainstream society goes back to its old expectations. Thousands of people across Ireland will remain in lockdown long past 2021 unless there is radical change in Government disability policy.

‘Our hope is to be there’

BONNIE RANUM
Valley City, North Dakota, United States

Bonnie Ranum from the US hopes to come to Ireland in 2022 after cancelling his 2021 trip due to Covid
Bonnie Ranum from the US hopes to come to Ireland in 2022 after cancelling his 2021 trip due to Covid

We had to cancel our trip to Ireland in March of 2020 and our hope is to be there in March of 2022.

‘Our daughter’s wedding, a lovely day for everyone’

MARY RICE
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Yeah, loads of “ordinary things” I’m looking forward to doing like meeting up with friends and family, going to a gig, spending an afternoon in the pub, holidaying back in Schull, west Cork, again but more than anything we’re hoping our daughter’s wedding (postponed three times) goes ahead when restrictions ease and looking forward to a lovely day for everyone.

Eoin O’Sullivan of the National Gallery of Ireland pictured ahead of its reopening on Monday. Photograph: Naoise Culhane
Eoin O’Sullivan of the National Gallery of Ireland pictured ahead of its reopening on Monday. Photograph: Naoise Culhane

‘I can’t wait to be in a room full of voices singing in harmony’

ELLEN O’DRISCOLL
Ireland
As a music education student, the thing I am most looking forward to is the return of choirs and groups singing. Singing with other people is an absolute joy and I really felt its absence throughout the last year. Prior to Covid-19, I was a member of a few different choirs, and on my semester abroad in Hungary I was singing in choirs/ensembles for about 6 hours a week. Although virtual choirs are really enjoyable and challenging, I can’t wait to be in a room full of voices singing in harmony.