A year ago, it didn’t seem possible but the light is at the end of the pandemic tunnel. Conventional science predicted it would take five years but as we roll into summer 2021, we can bust out of our Covid cocoons. We can see each other smile, we can shake hands without sanitizing, we can gather in groups without those clumsy Haz-Mat suits.

Joy is palpable throughout the land.

But to my surprise, I’ve had fleeting moments of wistfulness for the grim days of yore. Although lockdown life was fraught with difficulty, there were silver linings in the dark Covid cloud that I’m going to miss.

The absence of car traffic last summer in downtown Edgartown and the emergence of bistro dining was a revelation. It was like Europe without the smell.

With group celebrations — graduations, birthdays and gender reveal explosions — canceled last summer, the number of Mylar balloons washing up our beaches plummeted.

I miss Zoom “quarantinis” with my friends on “Blursday.”

I’ll miss those stimulus checks. So will my bookie.

I can no longer binge watch the entire Real Housewives canon and not feel like a complete idiot.

I miss the civilized check-out procedure at the Stop & Shop, which, with our swelling summer population, sometimes harkens to the Oklahoma Land Rush.

I miss gently easing into my day. Now I have to set an alarm again and start each day with a shrill sound jolting me into consciousness, recreating the trauma of birth. With less time before work in the morning, I have to meditate much faster, which really stresses me out.

I can no longer get away with giving inexpensive masks as gifts.

Without my mask, I can’t yawn in my neighbor’s face while tells me about the nuances of baking sourdough for the 25th time.

Owing to the exodus from America, our wonderfully desolate winters when deer outnumbered Islanders, parking was aplenty and tumbleweeds rolled down Circuit avenue are a now thing of the past. Reasonably priced year-round rentals, classified as “Threatened” before the pandemic, are now officially “Extinct.”

Now I have to pay attention at meetings instead of playing Candy Crush Saga or checking Ebay to see if my bid won the 3 pack of XL fuzzy sweatpants.

I can no longer make money by renting myself out as a vaccinated party guest.

Now the only curve that needs flattening is my waistline. To shed my “Covid 13,” I have to titrate off of comfort food and start eating green things again.

I have to re-learn small talk. “You didn’t gain much at all,” “Can you believe the real estate market?” “I counted 23 Teslas on the way over.”

I will miss having an empty seat next to me on airplanes, trains and buses, formerly known as “civilized travel, which is now on the “Endangered” list.

I know I’ll adjust to the end of the End Times, just like I adjusted to lockdown life. The pandemic drilled a valuable life lesson into my head — that no matter how unthinkably dark the clouds get, if I look closely, I can always find silver linings.

Now if I could just find my belt.

Barry Stringfellow lives in Edgartown