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Here’s what readers around Tampa Bay have on their post-pandemic to-do list

The coronavirus has halted a lot of things in life. We asked people what they want to do once everything is reopened — and safe.

There’s still a lot that needs to be done before the coronavirus pandemic is fully under control. But that doesn’t mean we can’t dream about what that day might look like.

In fact, fantasizing about future plans is an anxiety-reducing technique recommended by mental health professionals. Thinking positively about the future can help boost your mood today, even if you don’t end up acting on those plans later.

We asked readers: What’s on your to-do list when the pandemic is under control? Here’s what they said. (Responses have been edited for length and clarity.)

Related: Remember when we had plans?


Air travel has been significantly affected by COVID-19, forcing mass layoffs and canceled flights worldwide. Tampa International Airport is seeing the effects of the reduced air travel as the normally busy airport is nearly empty on April 22, 2020. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]

“Take a trip with my friends! I had to cancel a group graduation trip to Bali and ditch a few partially-planned summer weekend trips.” — Heaven Taylor-Wynn

“Get on a plane and visit my family in New England. I cannot believe how much I took that privilege for granted before the pandemic. 😢” — Jackie Watanabe

“I want so badly to get back to my regular classroom routine and meetings with students. Then ... equally important ... my regular month vacation in Taipei.” — Kirk Hazlett

“Trip to New Orleans. I want to drink an early morning coffee at Cafe Du Monde, before the crowds show up, walk the city until my feet hurt and get lost somewhere in the city I’ve never been.” — Eddie Burkhalter


“Hug my parents and friends. Have a lunch/dinner date with a friend.” — Denise Mestanza-Taylor

“Kiss my dog.” — Sharon Beasley

“Kiss someone.” — Susan Anderson


“Go to a live music concert, shoulder to shoulder with euphoric strangers, singing in unison at the tops of our lungs." — Amy Lamberski Herlihy, Facebook

“I miss being in the same room with my choir-mates, making music together, and feeling purposeful. Singing in a choir is about creating art collectively, but is also about breathing and projecting sound together. This virus has affected the way we interact in close spaces and even with masks, singing together will be a challenging discipline.” — Luis Fabián González, member of Master Chorale of Tampa Bay and USF Chamber Singers

"I miss being in the same room with my choir-mates, making music together," said Luis Fabián González, who is pursuing a master's degree in choral conducting at USF. Pictured is the Florida Orchestra and the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay performing Celebrate Delius on Jan. 6, 2012. [MELISSA LYTTLE | Tampa Bay Times]

“Be able to take my best friend, currently on chemo, out to eat at a restaurant.” — Brenna Mathiasen, Facebook

“Attend church in person, as opposed to doing it with Zoom.” — Christopher Johnson

“I’m a regular runner in my neighborhood for the last 12 years. But I have MS and Autoimmune thyroiditis so since COVID-19 came to town I have been running in a mask. My neighbor looked at me sadly the other day and said I may never see you without a mask again. It struck a chord in my heart. I’m looking forward to the day I can feel safe in public without a mask.” — Teri Lindley

“I am not sure I want to return to my old habits, it will be nice to see peoples faces and their smile. I guess I would say, stop being afraid." — Linda Crawford

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