We Asked the Association World: What are you most excited to do when the pandemic ends? (Part II)

Last week, I overhead my daughter talking to a handful of friends about all the things they hoped to do once the pandemic ended.  What struck me about the conversation was their discussion did not include big grandiose plans and wild adventures but rather everyday tasks and activities such as going out to lunch with friends, a trip to the movies or taking our dog to the dog park. 

Inspired by their conversation, I decided to reach out to a handful of my "association VIPs" and ask them what they missed, what did they want to do once we could resume some sense of normalcy.

The answers reminded me how far off we are from what was previously common in our everyday lives. But at the same time, they made me laugh, were therapeutic and provided a sense of connection. 

And with that... “What are some of the things you’re most looking forward to doing once the pandemic has been controlled and we’re able to live something close to normal life again?” 

We posted Part I of this series on May 12.  Here is Part II:

David Caruso, HighRoad Solutions

Lots of things run through my mind as I think of what I most look forward to when this pandemic is in the past.  First thought, on February 1st 2020, I escorted my father into an assisted living facility in Newark, Ohio.  I told him I would see him soon and never imagined what came next with Covid19. My dad and I talk several times a week, but the same question keeps coming up. When do you think you will be able to visit?  So I think my first trip will be to Ohio followed by a trip to Yorktown, VA to see my mother.  Second, I would do anything to be able to watch a ball game live.  I don’t care if its hockey, basketball, football or baseball...just get me to a park. This would also work very well into our now Saturday night family event, as we have had a poker night every Saturday night since the lock down!  Lastly, getting back to the gym for a regular workout with my trainer and good friend Cliff Russel.  I work out at home, but nothing close to the feeling I get walking out of his guy after an hour of punishment!

Deirdre Reid, Association technology content marketing writer and association management expert (CAE)​

I can't wait to...

saunter at the farmers market and grocery store without masks, one-way aisles and six-foot distances.

go to a hockey game and watch the Canes win.

meet a friend for lunch.

spend a late afternoon at the beach.

go to our favorite local -- a craft beer store -- and hang out at the bar drinking and talking with fellow beer geeks.

get back to regular hair and massage appointments.

go to a club to see a band we love, dance/bounce around up front and talk to strangers.

return to my kick-butt classes at the gym.

sit around a table eating and drinking with other people besides my feller.

visit my Massachusetts family in real life not just Zoom.

seeing my association buddies at the next conference.

hug people without a care in the world.

Robert Miller, Gravitate Solutions

For me, being able to see friends and family again in person is #1.  As an extrovert, being shut-in is a real challenge.  A zoom happy hour does feed the soul the same.  I’d also like to be able to plan ahead and know that those plans will come to fruition – whether it is going on a trip, planning a dinner out, or visiting a museum. My optimism is swelled by seeing future fun or interesting events on my calendar which I can look forward to.  Finally, I love to work and would like to see work get back to more normal. It is extremely challenging operating in a sales & marketing capacity when organizations are now so incredibly risk averse. 

Our challenges are all “first world” problems, so not really that significant at all.  We Just miss the conveniences of life that make it enjoyable.

Wendy Sahli, Regulatory Affairs Professional Society

I would hug my parents who I have only seen through a door for months.  I would have a huge celebration party for my son who is graduating high school but unable to celebrate it right now.  I miss my niece and would love to go visit her to celebrate her college graduation in North Carolina.  I am excited to go see live loud rock concerts again.  I can’t wait to go shopping for things I don’t need and buy a new outfit to go out to dinner and leave a huge tip.  Through this time, I have really enjoyed having more time with my son and enjoying lunch breaks with him.  I miss my staff and them laughing at my stupid jokes.  I find myself reflecting on life while appreciating the pause in chaos even though I get stir crazy working from home.  I hope this helps us as humans appreciate each other more, be kinder to each other, appreciate simple things, and not take things for granted.


If you are like me, you find comfort in ability to control--that we are the author of our destiny. This pandemic has turned that feeling upside down. There is no true timetable to starting up again or what that even looks like. This sense of not knowing is distracting.  And yet, I hope by reading these responses you smiled, laughed, found focus or (fill in the blank).

We will be publishing additional responses to “What are some of the things you’re most looking forward to doing once the pandemic has been controlled and we’re able to live something close to normal life again?” throughout the week. Enjoy -- Patrick.