The pandemic took us all by surprise. But once we realized it probably wouldn't go away anytime soon, we started to adapt. Our sense of normalcy changed, and with that, our daily schedules and routines.
Remote work instead of office meetings. Netflix instead of nights out. FaceTime calls instead of hugs and kisses. A new normal.
Amidst all the sadness, let's laugh about the small things we've all experienced during this pandemic.
I bet you can relate to these 16 moments that are *so* 2020 (and now 2021...):
1. Forgetting what day (or month) it is
There was a time when we thought "Oh, this is all going to be over by April". Fast forward 11 months, and it's hard to maintain a sense of time. What feels like Friday is actually Wednesday, and, wait, what month is it again? Oh yeah, it's 2021 by now. Finally.
2. Having absolutely nothing to do but texting someone "Sorry, I'm busy!"
Can I call you back when I have *less going on*?
It's understandable that with social distancing rules in place, people seek their social interactions online. But sometimes, you just need a quiet minute (or week). Only now, there are no excuses for dodging phone calls and ignoring texts. Everyone knows you can't be up to much.
3. Eating the same dinner five nights in a row
Quarantine fatigue is real. Sometimes an empty schedule and all of that extra free time can feel overwhelming. So much so, that you can't even bring yourself to cook a wholesome meal (even though you always swore you'd cook if you "only had the time"). Guess toast will have to do.
4. Stocking up on comfort snacks to last you a long time, but running out 2 days later
You may not be great with cooking, but you're highly organized when it comes to keeping a full pantry. At least that's what you thought when you bought your favorite junk food in bulk. I mean, you can't spend all that time cooped up inside without some comfort snacks, right? If only your plans to limit snacking to every other night had panned out, because, oops. Restriction is hard, and you're already restricting enough things in your life.
5. Wearing sweatpants and PJ's during every Zoom call
...sometimes even the same pairs more times than you'd like to admit. But hey, no one will ever know!
6. Turning around after you've left the house because you forgot your mask or hand sanitizer
By now, most of us have probably got a grip on it, but masks and hand sanitizers were not exactly staples in our handbags before 2020.
7. Actually craving the misery of crowded places
Oh yes, let's never forget the good ol' days of complaining about stuffy subway rides and rude passersby on the sidewalks. How blissfully clueless we were.
8. Realizing you miss all of the other annoyances that pre-pandemic life came with
Remember when you would complain about having to go out instead of just staying on the couch to watch Netflix? Look how the tables have turned.
9. Procrastinating that thing on your to-do list you just "never had time for"
It's month 11 of the pandemic, and you still haven't cleaned out your 18,000-file picture gallery on your phone. Let's face it. If you haven't by now, you probably never will.
10. Setting unrealistic quarantine goals but having no intention of ever pursuing them
We all had unrealistic goals that went beyond cleaning out our cabinets and sorting through our old clothes. We vowed to get an eight-pack. To write a novel. To paint the walls. How many of those goals have you actually achieved?
11. Thinking for a second that you actually kind of like being isolated, but then changing your mind
During month two of the pandemic, isolation wasn't so bad. Staying in, not having to worry about getting up and ready to go on that dreaded coffee date with your estranged high school friend who finally wants to catch up after all those years was actually kind of nice, wasn't it?
At this point, that coffee date sounds like the most exciting event of the season. We never thought we'd see the day.
12. Being mildly anxious at the thought of ever going back to pre-quarantine life
You know the feeling when you get so comfortable in your new routine, it's hard to imagine going back to how things were before? In-person meetings and early-morning commutes sound a tiny bit stressful now, if you ask me.
13. Regretting the purchase of a weekly planner
Did you *finally* commit to buying and keeping a nice weekly planner in 2020? The new decade started with such promising enthusiasm and intention. My last entry (that had nothing to do with grocery shopping or doctor's visits) was in March. How about yours?
14. Thinking your sniffles are 100% a sign that you have COVID-19
Who hasn't experienced a mild case of health anxiety during this pandemic? And why does COVID-19 need to resemble so many different symptoms of a harmless cold?
*Is this (insert any kind of random symptom here) just a cold or Corona?*
I've lost count of the times that a sudden sniffle sent me on a frantic search for the last places I went and the people I encountered.
15. Accidentally failing to mute yourself on a Zoom call
That darn mute button. Sometimes it's like the developers want you to have awkward moments in a team meeting. Should have double checked before playing that podcast.
16. Silently rolling your eyes at having nothing to talk about with people besides the pandemic
"Ugh, what strange times, right?"
"Oh, those vacationers and party-goers. They're making it worse for all of us. Don't they have any common sense?"
"Yeah, I'm good, considering the circumstances. Let's hope we get through this sooner rather than later!"
... Have you really experienced a pandemic if those lines weren't a part of every virtual or in-person conversation you had? I can't wait for the day that small talk consists of discussing the weather again.