The UK has become the first country to approve the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, with vaccinations due to start as early as next week.
The government has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine (enough for 20 million people), which is shown to be 95 per cent effective.
Meanwhile, the Government has said the vaccine could be rolled out in the Republic of Ireland in January pending approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in the next few weeks.
While it will take some time for the vaccination programme to be fully rolled out, the news signals that in the next few months we may actually be able to return to a life that much more resembles how things were before the pandemic hit, waving goodbye to lockdown rules and restrictions.
It’s an exciting prospect. Here are a few things we can’t wait to go back to doing again…
1. Visiting family and friends
With even domestic travel limited, many of us have been separated from friends and relatives for months. It will be wonderful to be reunited after so much time apart.
It’s not just hanging out with loved ones we’ve missed. With social distancing measures we’ve been reduced to air hugs and waving, making us realise the importance of physical affection. Those first cuddles with the grandkids and great big hugs with our best mates, are going to feel so good.
3. Going on holiday
This is a BIG one. Even when lockdown restrictions were reduced for many over summer, many people weren’t able to have a holiday abroad, and the lack of sun, sea and sangria made us very sad indeed. We’re going to have to make up for it in 2021 with some epic trips.
4. Celebrating birthdays
Usually, your birthday is the one day of the year you can force everyone you know to do exactly what you want, but for most of 2020, the best you could hope for was an awkward group Zoom call and a few cards in the post. Next year, to make up for lost time, we’re going all-out with the celebrations.
5. Going to the pub
Who would have thought we’d miss something as simple as strolling down to the local for a glass of wine or two of an evening? With lockdown restrictions in many places meaning having to book in advance, eat a full meal, leave by 10pm, or all of the above (and that’s if your local was open), the spontaneous mid-week pint became a thing of the past.
6. Eating out
Not only was it a huge blow for anyone working in the hospitality sector, the closing of restaurants took away much of the pleasure of dining out.
Even when some restaurants were open, restrictions often meant group gatherings weren’t allowed – we can’t wait to gather our nearest and dearest for an elbow-to-elbow big celebratory meal out.
7. Having parties
From birthdays to wedding receptions to anniversaries – sometimes you want to go big with the celebrations and a good old fashioned knees up is the only answer. Being able to gather en masse, toast the occasion and tear up the dance floor will be so much fun.
8. Going back to the office
We never thought we’d say it, but we’ve genuinely missed office life while working from home – well, some elements at least.
Namely, our favourite colleagues, the comradery of desk-mates, and the coffee machine. Plus, if you work from home, you’re likely more than ready to ditch the cramped home office set-up and endless Zoom calls.