I have a serious case of the “I want”s.

I want to go to a baseball game, or watch the Stanley Cup playoffs.

I want to be able to shake hands with people.

I want to go to a Memorial Day service Monday to pay tribute to our fallen heroes, remember all departed men and women who served their nation and show support to those who go in harm’s way today.

I want to be able to go to a store and shop just because I feel like it.

I want to know if there is going to be high school or college football in the fall.

I want to be able to get a haircut before I feel compelled to take matters into my own hands (or, more precisely, hand Kat a pair of scissors and ask her to do her best).

I want to be able to go to a restaurant for a meal where we can have conversations with those around us should we choose.

I want to not feel like I am taking my life into my own hands every time I go into a store.

I want to be able to watch a movie and not find myself being critical because parties were shaking hands or, heaven forbid, hugging one another. And I just about jumped up at the screen to shout “don’t do that! Social distance!” when an image of a crowded subway car came on. That has become reflex, hasn’t it?

I want to not feel nervous when somebody obliviously - or deliberately, but without care - intrudes on my personal space when I am at a store.

I want to be able to plan on going to see my mom at her nursing home in Iowa. And hug her when I get there. The coronavirus crisis forced us to cancel an April trip to visit family back in the Midwest, which we were very much looking forward to.

I want to know when it will be safe to fly again.

I want people to appreciate newspapers again.....and to understand that dismissing facts they don’t like or that are inconvenient to their personal truths as “fake news” doesn’t make it so.

I want people to spend their money at local, small businesses when they are able to open for business.

I want people to remember that, while “me” is certainly important there is a larger “we” component to this whole mess.

I want our elected leaders at the national level to quit playing politics with coronavirus. Interjecting pet partisan objectives into COVID-19 relief bills is politics at their very worst.

I want those whose families have not been touched by COVID-19 illness or death, who can still make the mortgage payment on time, who have not lost their jobs to understand and appreciate how truly blessed they are.

I want to see everything which we have lost this year in terms of community celebrations, traditional events and programs, and so much more come back strong next year, supported more fervently than ever by those who understand what they have given up this year.

I want folks to understand that there are simple, basic steps that they can take to help do their part in helping others without any significant sacrifice or hardship.

I want there to be a vaccine, and a cure.

I want people to look at their options not only through the prism of what they have the right to do but the right thing to do.

I want to be able to go to the store again for just one or two items without thinking twice about it.

I want there to be some clarity about what really is going to happen going forward.

I want to tell high school seniors, who will not get their traditional graduation send-off or get to enjoy so many cherished activities, that I sympathize deeply with them. And that the determination and resiliency forged in a time of crisis will serve them well as they go off into a world none of us have experienced.

I want people to quit believing every crackpot theory they read on Facebook.

But I want people to think for themselves and form decisions and opinions critically and reasonably rather than being guided by personal bias or pre-determined conclusion.

I want to reach a time when the phrases “COVID-19” and “coronavirus” appear not once in our weekly paper.

Granted, those things are a lot for which to ask. My meanderings this week are a little bit rant, little bit venting session, aren’t they? But if even half of those wishes were realized, well, wouldn’t we be in a little better place?

Dean Harris the Managing Editor of the West Side Index and Gustine Press-Standard. He can be reached at dharris@mattosnews.com or by calling (209) 243-8104.