Florence Dewhurst

I guess we all set our hopes to high for 2020 – unrealistically high – and it certainly didn’t live up to our expectations.

Seeing as there have been so many events and holidays that haven’t gone ahead this year, it’s only natural that I’m hoping for a dramatic improvement for 2021.

If I had a euro for every time I heard someone say “2020 will be my year” before the year had even started……. We really set this year up to be a failure from the very beginning.

For example, I was supposed to see two of my aunties and my grandparents for a big joint birthday celebration in the UK in April, which was then rescheduled for October, back when we all thought Covid-19 would last a few short months.

I was also supposed to visit my other Grandma during the summer, she lives in France. We’ve all heard stories about children waving through windows at their grandparents, especially during the first lockdown, but I haven’t even been able to get that close.

That’s why I’m really looking forward to when we can travel again, so I can finally see everyone.

It came as a big disappointment when Covid-19 prevented my Mam and I from going on a trip to Canada that she had been planning for after my Junior Cert. My mam’s aunt lives in Canada, and it would have been my first time going since I was three-years-old. Hopefully we can go at some point in the near future.

I’m so excited for the vaccine to become available for us all. I’m not thinking twice about getting it when it comes out, because I’d do just about anything for this pandemic situation to end.

Of course, I understand people’s apprehension towards a vaccine that’s developed so fast, but because I’m so eager to make coronavirus a thing of the past that I have no problem with getting it.

I am happy to trust the science on this one.

Another thing that I will be thrilled to see returning is theatre. I’ve been lost this winter without the Fermoy Panto, especially in my TY year.

When shows do eventually return, I’d hope that I’d get more opportunities for bigger roles now that I’m older. I’m hoping that shows will return to our stages by 2021, even though I know that might be a little ambitious. I’d be delighted to be a part of any show after months without them. Musical societies, pantos, end of year showcases, anything… as long as we get back to the stage again. Out of everything that coronavirus has put a stop to, there’s absolutely nothing I miss more than shows. Even a 10-hour weekend rehearsal seems appealing at this point!

My cousin and I had planned to do a lot of visits between Fermoy and Drogheda via the train or the bus this year, seeing as I’m now old and wise enough to work out the connecting train routes. That was before coronavirus intervened. Thankfully I saw her during the summer when the pandemic situation was relatively calm. Her family comes down over Christmas annually, but it looks like they won’t be able to come over this year, so I’m really looking forward to when we can all see each other again next year.

On a daily basis, it’s the small things that I’m looking forward to going back to normal.

I won’t miss having to remember to take my mask with me everywhere I go, which I forget everyday anyway.

Neither will I miss my hands being constantly dry and itchy from an overload of foul-smelling hand sanitiser.

I look forward to just being able to walk into a café with friends for a casual unplanned get-together in a warm indoor space. Spontaneity in everyday life – that’s what I look forward to in 2021.

Florence Dewhurst is a TY student at Loreto Secondary School, Fermoy