10 Things That Have Become Totally Normal During Quarantine

In a tense time when our differences have often been used to pit us against each other (thanks to a certain orange person), it’s important to remember that we all have something in common: surviving COVID and all its life-altering byproducts. 

It’s crazy to think that everyone in the world is connected by this experience. 

We’ve all suffered from having a more sedentary lifestyle, from not doing certain activities that once brought us joy, from not seeing friends, from feeling less motivated at work, and from scrambling to fill our pantries with “emergency” food after waiting in Disneyland-length lines. 

But being the amazing creatures we are, we have shown a strong ability to adapt. 

Here are 10 things that have become the norm as a result of this adaptation:

1. Going several days without entering the outside world
In the beginning of quarantine, we all went through that period of time when we didn’t dare set foot outside. Now, after 6 months, it feels completely normal going a day or two without going out for a walk. For those of you who live alone, this also means going days without speaking to someone or hearing the sound of your own voice. For the love of God, please regularly call your friends or family and grease up the ol’ voice box.

2. Spending all your time in loungewear
Let’s face it…we’ve all been doing the whole business-on-the-top-casual-on-the-bottom thing. Honestly, putting on anything but leggings or sweatpants feels strange now. Those rare occasions when you have a doctor’s appointment or are heading out to meet someone feel exceptional because it means you have to “dress up”. I personally enjoy those few opportunities to put on an actual outfit, even if I’m just going to Trader Joe’s.

3. Food becomes the focal point of your day
Maybe you’ve been experimenting with new recipes or maybe you DoorDash every day. Regardless, you have to map out what you’ll eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Back when we were physically going onsite, we hardly had to put this much thought into our meals, especially since lunch could often be bought or covered at work.

4. Surge in online shopping
There was literally a week where myself and those I live with were each getting daily packages; every day was like Christmas. Even now, when a package arrives for someone else, we each still get that vicarious thrill from them opening it. Hey, you gotta do what makes you happy during a time like this!

5. Picking up old or new hobbies
With so much time at home to yourself, you can’t help but re-discover hobbies you once had, or better yet, learning new ones. Not only is this one of the best ways to stay sane, but it also is a unique opportunity to put your focus into a passion project or bettering other dimensions of your life. Not a great cook? Use this as a chance to dabble in different recipes and test things out on your roommates.

6. Finding masks in the most random places
Over time, masks have started accumulating like candy in a car. You find one in your pocket, in between the seats in your car, in your purse, inside another mask…you get the picture. It’s funny to think that back in the beginning of this quarantine period, masks were practically inaccessible. Now they’re everywhere we look.

7. Zoom is a huge part of your life
If anyone’s having a blast, it’s the folks at Zoom (if I didn’t know better, I’d say they were behind this whole thing). We can all relate to the following common things people have said on Zoom calls:

“Can you all see my screen?”
“Gary, your mic is still on…”
“Can everyone go on mute?”
“Sorry, folks, I have to jump to another call”
“Apologies, I was having connection issues”
“Sorry, you got cut off, can you repeat that?”
“So today, I wanted to talk ab- *interrupted by children screaming in the background*”
“Next slide, please”
“Sorry guys, I’m having audio issues and need to restart my Zoom”

Maybe when COVID blows over, we can all gather around a campfire and share our bizarre Zoom stories with one another…

8. Time has become weird
Each day in quarantine feels like a week. Given that we’re not being exposed to as much stimuli, the days themselves feel slower and can take all kinds of twists and turns. Yet, somehow, you look back and realize almost two entire seasons have gone by…

9. You experience a rollercoaster of emotions
Every day, it feels like you go through a range of emotions. One hour, you’re feeling motivated for work, the next, you’re stressed out and anxious about when life will return to normal (especially when you come across yet another piece of apocalyptic news). You can tell that people have generally been more “on edge”. You walk into a grocery store and it’s as though the slightest thing will set anyone off. Just be mindful of others’ emotions and know that they’re having just as rough a time as you are.

10. Appreciating the little things
If there’s one thing quarantine has taught us, it’s to take joy in the smaller things in life and not take anything for granted. Who knew something as simple as going for a long walk outside or grabbing coffee from our usual spot would feel so refreshing? It’s those small doses of normalcy that make us feel good again. Train your mind to focus on the simple things that make you happy and you’ll get through this!

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