You told us how your 2020 would look if COVID never happened | #facebookdating | #tinder | #pof | #datingscams | #cheaters



While spending hours cooped up in home offices, wrangling kids, staring at Zoom calls and tracking virus case numbers, it’s hard not think about how 2020 would be different had the novel coronavirus not shown up on the scene.

I would have taken my daughters to see their grandparents in England in June, continued to commute into the Chronicle building on Mission Street every morning, and attended four actual weddings and a funeral — instead I’m writing in my garage and binge-watching the (very underwhelming) Hulu reboot.

We asked you to imagine how your world would look if COVID-19 didn’t exist. Where would you be working? Who would you be dating? Where would you call home? How is your sports team doing?

Your virus-free 2020 looked a lot different too. From serving cocktails in the St. Francis Hotel bar to building fire-breathing Burning Man sculptures to jet skiing on Lake Geneva, here’s what you shared with us.

Submissions edited for clarity. 

I would be catching up after two weeks in Italy during which my family would have finalized our dual citizenship. I would be looking forward to seeing the many friends who in our true reality have now moved out of San Francisco, excited to tell them about the trip. Maybe I’d even be dating the guy my friend was about to set me up with, days before the stay at home orders were issued. – Christina Barone

I would be out enjoying Sunday Streets, concerts at Yerba Buena Gardens, seeing my friends at these events, and others, and sitting on the lawn and sidewalk eating ice cream. – Marylin

I’d be working full time in my office while my baby was with a nanny. A silver lining to the pandemic has been all the time I’ve had with my baby. It’s hard, but I’m treasuring the time. – Brenna

I would be getting ready for my 50th birthday trip to New York City and Paris that my BFFs and I have been planning for the last three years. – Molly Foley

I would be spending my summer in Gelnhausen, Germany with my two beautiful grandsons. We would be going to the playground, swimming and going for ice cream. They grow so fast. Missing this time with them is heart breaking. – Karen Bruce Silva

I was am (was?) a waiter at Scala’s Bistro at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. This was going to be my last year. I’m 70, and at risk. The job was demanding both physically and mentally but it keeps you on your toes. I loved the interactions. Families just coming from SFO with kids hungry and tired. Giving them some ice cream and making them smile. Saying thank you in their native tongue to make them feel welcome. Remembering that favorite drink for locals and regulars. It’s all gone and I don’t think it will come back. – Bill Glanting

Getting married. – Ranee

I would be divorced! – Jenna P

We had a 4 week vacation in the northwest planned; would have left July 5th to return August 4th. I have been making daily Facebook posts as though we really were on vacation. – Don Casey

We’d be working around the clock with our favorite weirdos on the build of our fire-breathing crow mutant vehicle for Burning Man. Early August would see us packing up our tool boxes and tutus (and single ply toilet paper), and readying ourselves for a couple of weeks of silliness, magic and awe in our favorite dusty destination. – Sam Brown

Making money, spending money. – Cecilia Parsons

Taking Cuban dance classes at the Mission cultural Center and enjoying all of the Latino centric shows and its galleries and workshops. After that I would go hear a hot salsa band. I miss dancing to live music more than anything and I sincerely hope that all those gifted musicians and live music venues will survive this pandemic. – Isabel Barraza

Helping my daughter get ready for her first year in college. – Kimberly

I’d still be teaching in Madagascar. I had a teaching job there and was benefiting from learning French and living in a lush environment. They suddenly shut the school and advised me that I’m being laid off. I was forced to return back to the US. I don’t know what home is. I’ve been gone for so long that my ties aren’t strong or they just live such different lives than I do now. So I’m starting from scratch. I’ve come back and there’s all these Teslas I’ve never seen before and it’s not called Candlestick anymore. Confused. I am. If I can make just one friend I will be so happy. – Joanna Monfort Torres

We could hold our mom’s memorial service. – Teresa

On a personal level, the pandemic was a blessing in disguise. If it didn’t happen, I’d probably still be miserable and living with my dysfunctional ex-boyfriend in a pitch-black apartment on Telegraph Avenue. The pandemic catalyzed our separation, and made me relocate to a much happier, healthier living situation. – Ariana

Right now I’d be in Arcata, coaching adult musicians at CSU Humboldt. I would be fresh off three weeks of playing at the Mendocino Music Festival, where I would be staying at a veterinarian’s home with my pet labrador, working 2 1/2 hrs a day and spending the rest wandering on the coast or in the forest. – Scott Hartman

Camping, hiking, museums, Comic Con, Children’s Fairy Land, Tilden Park Train, Disneyland, Grand Canyon. – Richard

Sitting next to a driftwood fire on a beach on the French side of the Lake of Geneva, drinking cold white wine and watching the sun set as a big pot boiled crayfish to eat right there with melted butter. Our young son would be paddling in the warm water, and friends might be sitting with us on the smooth, marble-sized beach pebbles. In March we had just confirmed with the host that the rural Airbnb we wanted was available for our dates. Then it got clear things might lock down, and we never clicked to reserve. – Marc W

We live in Hawaii, and our lease was up end of January 2020. We packed everything up and it was all getting ready to be shipped to California. We planned a vacation in Asia, stopping in Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia, then head to the Bay Area, where I left 20+ years ago! One by one the flights all got cancelled. I asked my job if they could delay my resignation, and were kind enough to do so. Where we would be now? Just returning from a vacation in Europe and looking for a place to live in the Bay Area. – James Dylan.

I would be buying a house for my retirement. The equity raise I was promised has evaporated, so now I can’t afford the house down payment, my retirement income will be reduced by $20,000 a year, and my retirement itself will probably be delayed by three or four years. That is, unless I am about to be laid off at the age of 54 and will probably never be hired again. – Lisa M

I would be on my honeymoon right now! – C. Hardy

I would be out photographing nature and sharing my photos with passerby and throwing in a little info about animals and their habits.

Talking with tourists and sharing places to visit in the city and on the coast along with good restaurants. Ceviche and Peruvian food. Olive Crush in Half Moon Bay. Acme Bread in the Ferry Building with artichoke bruschetta from McEvoy Ranch. These are the things I miss most. – Elizabeth Madriz

I would be spending money. We would be entertaining guests at our vacation home. We would be eating at restaurants every night after having cocktails. We would have bought some new clothes for the summer. We would have stocked the refrigerator with food and bought extra wine and alcohol to have just in case. I would have had my hair colored every month and my nails done. We would taken our grown kids jet skiing. – Barbara

2020 was going to be my year of epic travel. Lol. – Arlyn

Life is at a standstill. I’m like everyone else, wishing I could go out to eat at a nice restaurant, enjoy happy hour after work, navigating the dating scene, taking those trips I daydreamed about way back when I was living one freelance paycheck to the next. Every day bleeds into the next, an awful waiting game robbing us of life and dignity. – Chris Donahue

Going to the National Parks. Eating at restaurants I’ve never been to. Movie theaters in the heat on the summer day. – Kim

I would be back home in San Francisco. Not stuck in wretched Georgia! I don’t think I’ll get back until next spring at this rate. – Anonymous

We would be traveling to New York City on a show tour, five shows in four days, attending Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin concerts in Los Angeles and Las Vegas in the fall, going to the gym, getting together with friends for their birthdays, taking my dance classes, just enjoying life. I would still have the same amount of toilet paper, more than we need. – Karen

If the pandemic never happened! Right now I would be sitting in the bleachers watching my 12 year old son playing baseball in Cooperstown, NY. His grandparents from Australia would also be there to cheer him on. My son had spent the last year training six days a week for this tournament. Now, I’m stuck at home listening to him scream at the TV playing video games. – Bec Appleton


Andrew Chamings is an editor at SFGATE. Email: Andrew.Chamings@sfgate.com | Twitter: @AndrewChamings

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