"Straight up to Whitby for the best fish and chips ever" - Star readers’ dream of Covid's end

It’s been a pretty dour 12 months and as we approach 12 months since the first lockdown, we asked our readers what would be the first thing they’d do if the pandemic was over tomorrow. Purely hypothetical of course… and this is (some of) what they had to say.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 9:53 am
Updated Monday, 1st March 2021, 9:57 am

Hugging loved ones has been something that so many of us have missed out on, and Ian Dickinson said that; “If it ended for real tomorrow I'd grab my son and my grandson and give them both a massive hug and kiss to make up for all this wasted time we've been subject to” and the same goes for Jill Cooper, who said; “First job, go and meet my two great nephews, both born as lockdown started and take it from there. I'm sure we've all got a lot of hugging, kissing and crying to do.”

Some of our readers want to make up for lost time and lost festive periods, like Fiona Boyes who would want; “Christmas again instead of the one day we had (usually have all mine for Boxing day too but couldn't this year)never felt so deflated to be honest” — I think we all felt that way Fiona to be honest.

Louise Edwards would waste no time, and would; “Go to my family I haven't seen in 18 months” — hopefully you can soon Louise. And, Paula Pretty says that she would; “Hug each and everyone of my grandkids. Air hugs are not nearly enough.” Sarah Brisco is missing her pals, she said; “Go hug all the friends I've not been able to hug for the last year or so” — I think we all will give our nearest and dearest the biggest of squeezes.

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Family hugging

Sarah Hopkins says that she would; “Cry with relief then head to the pub for a meal!” and Stavey-kim Roberts said she’d; “Go to Skeg with my family and just take in the sea air and let the kids run riot on beach and burn some steam off”. Meanwhile, Lea Burdett kept it very concise saying; “Day 1 - day trip to Whitby Day 2 - big trip to Lanzarote” — can’t argue with that.

Sheryl Radford-Bennett says that she will; “definitely treat my kids they’ve dealt with so much they deserve our time with no school work! Can’t wait just for them!” and speaking of the kids, Stewart Wilkinson says that he will; “Visit family in Dorset for HUGS! Not seen physically since Feb 2020. Need hugs from our Great granddaughter who we have not been as able to since that time. Thank goodness for WhatsApp!”

Debbie Wilson says that she would; “meet up with my son that we've only seen for 10 minutes in many months without him worrying he's giving us covid! Then my sisters, especially Norma Atkinson, who I’ve not seen since before xmas and all have a coffee round the same table, then id b***er off to our van in Skeg and not come back until it was vital”.

Then there are those who have new family members that they’ve never seen or are due to arrive soon. As much as we’re trying to make a positive of a difficult time, you can’t help but feel emotional for Denise Carr, who longs to; “Fly to the USA to watch my daughter give birth to her 2nd child, and meet my first grandchild who is two already and I haven't met yet” — hopefully you’ll be able to do so soon, and although it’s not the best circumstances, congratulations on becoming a grandma again.

And some of us have learnt from the pandemic that there’s nothing better than personal space. Clare Butcher said that she would; “Hug my parents and grandparents. I’m not intending to allow strangers back in my personal space ever”. On the other hand some of us just can’t wait for the schools to reopen, like Liz Bradfield who dreams of putting her; “Kids in their uniform and skip all the way to them school gates I have missed so much, then a pub tea” — this is the positive parental energy that we’re all here for.

One of the most popular replies was from David Fletcher, who said that he’d be; “Straight up to Whitby for the best fish and chips ever then grab some Donuts, have a run around on the beach with my wife and little boy then hit the amusements, game of pirate golf, head up to the abbey for some lovely views then head for home, perfect day!” — you can’t argue with that tbh. It sounds amazing, can we come too David?

So many of the replies were about people wanting to make up for lost time with their families, as well as new born members of the family they’d yet to meet, and the thing we seemed to miss more than anything was hugs. Hugs were the order of the day with over 400+ of the comments mentioning hugs with loved ones — and yes, ‘Air hugs are not nearly enough’. Swiftly followed by the likes of pub visits, restaurants, trips to the seaside, holidays to Benidorm and Lanzarote, as well as doing Christmas Day properly.

It was lovely reading all your responses, the rest of which you can see here, we hope that you all take care and that this virus finally bugg… goes away very soon (ahem). In the meantime, please do stay vigilant, safe and when we get through this we can make up for all of this time that we’ve lost to date.