The after times


Margaret Dougherty, Managing Editor

As I patiently check multiple times a day to book a vaccination appointment, I figured it would be helpful to plan aheadBack in August, I read a piece in The New Yorker by comedian Josh Gondelman detailing his post-pandemic social calendar. That article inspired me to write down my own schedule for a post-pandemic day in the life. It’s hard to know when a day like this will come, but when it does, I’ll be ready. 

9:00 a.m. – I wake up and head to Spellman to grab a quick breakfast. I feel like I’m forgetting something and realize that I’ll have to purposely smile now that a mask is no longer covering my mouth. I stroll right into the dining hall without walking through a weaving maze of ropes like a line at Disneyworld. I don’t even have to worry about where I stand in line.  

10:00 a.m. – My friends and I crowd onto the Gael Expresshead onto a packed Metro North train to Grand Central, and jam into the busiest subway available. I’m no longer afraid of catching a deadly disease in this swarm of smelly and sweaty humans! Instead, I’m just afraid of the hundred other things that could go wrong, but that feels more normal. 

11:30 p.m. – We head into a crowded restaurant for lunch. I don’t even notice when the person at the table next to us coughs. I take a sip of my friend’s soda. It’ll be alright. Someone double dips in the guacamole. That’ll probably be alright too. 

1:00 p.m. – We spend a couple hours at the Color FactoryWe meet some tourists and pass around iPhones to take photos. I remind myself to use hand sanitizer but not before mindlessly touching my face multiple times. I still avoid the ball pit. 

4:30 p.m. – We take the same packed forms of transportation home.  

6:00 p.m. – I go to mass at Holy Family Church. Everyone eagerly shakes hands at the sign of peace instead of awkwardly waving. I get Communion without a second thought. I still don’t feel great about the chalice though.  

8:00 p.m. – My friends and I catch a movie at the Regal in New Roc. The people less than six feet behind us are laughing loudly and definitely spraying aerosols in our direction.  

11:00 p.m. – We visit a friend’s dorm. There are a lot of people hanging around talking and singing at the top of their lungs. I know I wished for times like this during the pandemic, but I leave within fifteen minutes.  

1:00 a.m. – I wrap up my night lying in bed thinking of what I could do these next few weeks. I’ll spend time in full capacity classrooms and dine inside at Starbucks. Maybe I’ll buy tickets to a Yankees game or go to a concert. I could even take an Amtrak to visit home and hug my family. The possibilities are endless.