SO FAR, MORE THAN 87 MILLION AMERICAN adults have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine — and over half of those folks are already fully vaccinated.
That means that for a rapidly growing chunk of the population, there's finally a light at the end of the tunnel, meaning the most restrictive aspects of life under lockdown may soon come to an end. That doesn't mean that the pandemic will miraculously vanish or that people can run freely out into the streets, but some sense of normalcy may be on its way. And we wanted to know what everyone had planned.
"I’m going to the mall. It’s a small and silly ritual, but I feel like malls are weird societal bubbles and I haven’t been shopping at one since 2018," one person told Futurism on Twitter. "Will also be interesting to see how I feel around strangers again. And planning to visit my parents & grandparents, of course."
The answers ranged from practical to sentimental to, frankly, horny. But all together, they provide a glimpse of what people have held onto throughout the past year-and-change of the coronavirus pandemic — and what's most exciting about life after lockdown.
"I'm driving 9 hours to visit a friend (also vaccinated) for a long weekend," one person wrote. "The same trip was the first one I had to cancel back in March 2020. Somehow making it the first trip I take post-vaccination feels like getting closure."
Others spoke about long-overdue family reunions that have been put on hold for over the course of a year during which phone calls and videochats had to serve as a replacement for in-person connections.
And then there's everyone who can't wait to get back to a gym, or are excited to actually sit and relax at their favorite restaurants again.
And, of course, some admitted that their post-vaccine plans are a touch more lurid, though we suspect that there are loads more with similar plans than the number who admitted to it.
One person told Futurism that they plan to "kiss a stranger (with permission. and privately. and after checking that they're also vaccinated.)"
Of course, numerous people shared that they plan to continue exercising a healthy amount of caution, acknowledging that vaccination isn't a free pass to live life as we all did prior to the pandemic.
"Nope. I'm still going to avoid folk/wear a mask at work-in a shop/get tested," one wrote. "This virus isn't going to disappear. Until we know how long the vaccine lasts I'm staying in Lockdown. Cheery thoughts."
"No. This still doesn’t mean a spike still can’t happen and that I still can’t carry and spread the virus," said another. "I won’t have any grand gestures. I’ll just slowly come back to doing things I used to."
They raise an important point — health officials have repeatedly urged everyone to continue masking up and distancing as much as possible, even after they're fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Small, in-person and maskless gatherings among inoculated people are okay, according to the latest guidelines, but merely getting shots doesn’t mean we're out of the woods yet.