Articles, COVID-19, Lifestyle, Staying Healthy, Thinking Positive

A New Normal? Life After the Pandemic in Summer 2021

Picture it. It’s your day off and you’re so excited to be spending it out and about. You stay close beside your parent/friend/sibling/(insert other person you’re close to here). You walk into a movie theater to see the 2:00 PM matinee. Afterwards, you look around in some shops nearby. Another friend joins you and you find yourself browsing shelves at the nearest bookstore. 

All without a mask. 

And all AFTER the COVID Pandemic hit the United States.

My Experience

This was my experience last week. A wonderful day in and of itself, and yet after the Pandemic, it was a day that almost didn’t seem like it was going to come. Because of the CDC’s new guidelines, vaccinated individuals don’t have to wear masks. The movie theater was open. Stores were bustling. And while this shift hasn’t been the most fun for some customer service employees, I think we can all agree returning to normalcy has been a shift in the right direction. 

This summer, I’ve seen crowds gather at parks while dancing to live music. The local waterpark is open and full of excitement. Many people, including my mother, are returning to their normal jobs or have found a new job. 

All in all, it’s been nice to return to what the world used to be.


I’ll admit, I’m speaking for mostly myself and the few people closest to me when I talk about this… and I feel a little guilty saying there are downsides to adjusting back to normal. 

I must point out that I’m ecstatic about life continuing as it was pre-Pandemic. 

I stand by being vaccinated and taking precautions. 

AND I mourn alongside the world for everybody lost due to COVID. 

BUT that doesn’t mean that after a year of adjusting to a remote lifestyle there aren’t some growing pains. 

For one, the customer service industry is struggling. Not with getting customers, but with keeping staffed enough to meet customer demand. This is tricky for essentially everybody because, regardless of if you work in customer service, you probably enjoy stores, restaurants, and other places of leisure. 

There are also many people who are wondering about their children’s education after a year of remote learning (and how this might push them back academically), and then what to do to catch them up.

To Sum it Up

Essentially, it’s a lot of excitement, but also a lot that we still need to figure out and adjust to. 

Because, at the end of the day, COVID does still exist. Both literally and figuratively. 

Personally, I don’t believe our world will ever be entirely the same as it was before the Pandemic. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 

I feel like businesses are going to start analyzing their structures. I think we, as a society, have developed different attitudes and viewpoints toward sanitation and health. Some of us have discovered new passions and hobbies.

I guess all this is to say that I’m just one of millions who are witnessing this exact moment in time. In some ways, it feels like everything is new. There are some things, I’ll admit, I miss about last summer. I miss lazy days with my mom and having what felt like all the time in the world to work on projects. I miss time with friends and family because everybody was either working from home or not working at all. But I can’t deny the overall buzz of excitement in the air as more people are enjoying what is to come. The days are less lazy, work is picking back up, the world is just… turning again. It’s wonderful, and tiring, and it’s interesting, to say the least. 

So whether you love busy life post-Pandemic or secretly wish we could go remote again, we’re in this together. I think it’s going to take the same kind of courage we had during the Pandemic to help us transition out of it. 

But I know we can make it through this too. 

So keep your head up. Enjoy the fun in life. Realize the harder parts are inevitable and that you will persevere. And the world is on its way to being a better place.

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Skylar Summers is a senior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She's passionate about empowering women through storytelling, writing, and creating visual media. To learn more about Skylar, visit her Instagram page @skylarsummers20 and watch her short films on her website (linked on her Instagram page)!

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