Photo by Tang Ming Tung
“Starting on April 6, 2021, all Delawareans aged 16 years and older were made eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Now that the vaccine is widely available in delaware, we may be able to slowly return to the best version of normalcy”
There’s definitely a change in the air. Or at least, there’s a change in what we’re talking about, and how we’re reacting to our current global pandemic—a change that just a short year ago seemed despairingly far-off. For me, it’s been both uplifting and frightening to see people on my social media begin to imagine a world where everyone successfully receives a vaccine for COVID-19 and we begin to return to “normal” …. which really, I think just means we might not have to wear masks or be afraid when we leave our homes. On one hand, it’s frightening because we are likely being pre-mature, and our rush to normalcy could cost us more lives. On the other hand, after a year of despair, the idea of a mostly-vaccinated state brings us hope that feels good.
And at least for Delaware, the idea that everyone could have a vaccine isn’t too far off. Is it optimistic and ambitious? Maybe, but at least we can begin to imagine it for our home, given that starting on April 6, all Delawareans aged 16 years and older were made eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Now that the vaccine is widely available in Delaware for residents 16 and older, we may be able to slowly (key word: slowly) return to normalcy in Delaware. But what does post-COVID normalcy look like in Delaware? Well, allow me to be imaginative, just for a moment.
Aside from being social and connecting with others again, I’m excited to explore all of Delaware’s natural habitats and connect with myself through nature. From Rehoboth Beach to Cape Henlopen, Delaware features some of the most beautiful natural habitats, and it recently occurred to me that I never fully appreciated these habitats as they are. The idea that a vaccination can allow me to feel more secure in my desire to get outside and get some fresh air is certainly an enticing one. Really, I think I’m clinging to this hope that things will go back to the best version of normal possible. For the past year, hope and optimism were so hard to find. It was difficult to imagine a world where there is a protective factor against a virus that cost us so much—including human lives.
More than anything, quarantining for a year showed me how little I take advantage of the networking opportunities in Delaware, despite the fact that they feel few, far and in-between. For me, what I’m most looking forward to in a post-COVID Delaware is connecting with my fellow Delawareans again, be it at brunches, happy hour events hosted through the Connect, or a lunch to catch up on all the latest gossip (we all know Delaware is small, so that gossip is always good). More than anything, I think we all need (and maybe even deserve) a little face-to-face connection. My hope is that as more and more Delawareans get vaccinated, we can all feel a little safer in our ability to get together again. At the moment, the Connect is hosting two virtual events in April: a therapy town hall on April 26th, and a Clubhouse event on April 29th about Vaccinations. And in an attempt to slowly and safely usher millennial Delawareans into a post-COVID activity-sphere, the Connect will slowly begin to have more in-person events! Are you signed up to receive our newsletter and updates?
As I both optimistically and hesitantly imagine a life after COVID, I find mostly find myself imagining getting together with like-minded people. In my imagined scenarios, me and my friends or networking buddies joke over mimosas about how boring Delaware is. Within this same scenario, someone points out Delaware’s growth potential, and we discuss entrepreneurship opportunities. We sit at a public restaurant, and take our time eating our food because we aren’t in a rush: we’ve been vaccinated, and are less worried that our extracurricular activities will harm us or others.
These scenarios in my head are fragile: It’s scary to think that making vaccines widely available so quickly will allow life to continue post-COVID. Really, hope is scary, because it’s been pulled away from us so often during 2020. And yet, now that Delaware has made the COVID vaccines widely available to all Delaware residents, I find myself hopeful. I’m cautiously hopeful to get back out there, and take advantage of all the things that Delaware has to offer—both through the Connect, and through Delaware’s other channels of activity. With vaccines more available, I feel increasingly confident that there is change in the air, and my oh my it smells sweet! My imagination has been running wild with the possibilities. And to our readers, I would love to know: What does a post-COVID life look like for you? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
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More about the Author
Vanessa Hatton is currently a graduate student studying Psychology at Rutgers University. Vanessa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.