One Month Later: Embarrassing Things We’ve Done During Shelter-in-Place
Sheltering-in-place to help slow the spread of the coronavirus is a challenge we’ve accepted for the greater good of the world. For a lot of us, being stuck inside has essentially disrupted our old routines for the foreseeable future, but the cost of carrying on normally is far worse. The devastation COVID-19 has wreaked on our communities and loved ones is dominating our collective consciousness, so we’ve got to keep ourselves occupied.
We can try to reduce our understandably increased levels of stress and anxiety with tasks as simple as showering daily or making our beds (both have been proven to help reduce anxiety and depression), but it’s still worth it to try out something new — especially after a month.
However, not everything is worth doing twice. After weeks of indoor experimentation, there are a few things we’ll be happy to leave behind once sheltering-in-place is long in the past.
Zoom Group Chats
Two is delightful. Three is a party. Four or more is utter chaos. That’s the lesson learned after a month of participating in countless Zoom chats. Sure, customizing your background with scenes from your favorite shows or movies can add some flavor to your chat. But the more people there are trying to connect with each other, the harder it is to actually connect with each other.
Think about it: Do you remember phone calls? Like, phones that were connected to actual walls? Remember how hard it was to orchestrate a three-way phone call? This is essentially the same thing, only the speakers can pick up even more outside noise to disrupt your cousin’s daughter’s virtual birthday party.
It’s even more of a struggle at work. If you’re cohabitating with others while working from home, you never know who’s going to appear behind you during an important meeting...or what they’ll be wearing. By now we’ve all seen our coworkers’ partners’ “deer in the headlights” move when they realize they're the main attraction of a group video meeting.
That being said, our hearts go out to every elementary, junior high and high school teacher out there trying to teach a screen full of rambunctious children at once. Not all heroes wear capes.
Buying Groceries in Bulk
Grocery stores (and the workers inside) have stepped up to the challenge and provided safer shopping experiences for all of us. However, not every shopper can admit to buying the neighborly amount of essential items.
Shopping at a grocery store for supplies has never been more confusing, and the existential threat of a looming virus only makes it worse. But that doesn’t mean we all have to buy excessive amounts of toilet paper and hand sanitizer to leave our neighbors helpless (and a tad messy).
We’re no saints either. One of our staff brought home a head of cauliflower for the first time even though they’ve never cooked it before in their life. Why? Because it was the only thing left in the vegetable aisle. Another filled their freezer with a bunch of microwave-ready meals. The only problem? They didn’t have a microwave.
And speaking of ridiculous purchases during the coronavirus...
Being Our Own Barbers
By now we’ve all become well-acquainted with our natural hair colors, whether we like it or not (GRAYS! GRAYS EVERYWHERE!). And if you’re one of the lucky few who doesn’t currently resemble Christopher Lloyd from Back to the Future, then thank your DNA for being so kind to you.
The huge uptick in hair care product purchases is certainly no surprise. But for those who have attempted to give themselves (or others) a trim, remind everyone involved that it will eventually grow out. Note: People go to school for years to learn how to properly cut and style hair. Watching one YouTube tutorial from a 19-year-old influencer ain’t gonna cut it, kiddos.
Now is the perfect time to embrace your natural hair and let it fly through the wind…if your apartment provides a breeze. Once this is over, stylists and barbers will never have to worry about their next client again. And we can go back to pretending that we never had any gray hair.
Hobbies Better Left in the Trash
We’re going to say this right now: Whoever created the gradient puzzle is a monster. Sure, now feels like the perfect moment to pick up a new hobby to try and pass the time. You could fire up the oven and bake some bread, plug in that old sewing machine, start that screenplay you’ve always wanted to write or even put together a puzzle you’ve been ignoring for a while.
But here’s the reality: Sometimes you’ve been avoiding that hobby for a reason. If it was already too stressful to get started with, now is not the greatest time to start. There are so many stressors out there in the first place. The last thing you want to do is get frustrated with the thing that’s supposed to be a pleasant distraction.
If you’re really desperate to try something new, join all the teenagers and celebs out there and start your own TikTok. Go ahead. Film yourself and your family dancing in your living room and then amass hundreds of thousands of followers to keep your spirits up. It seems to be working for everyone else on the app. Here’s why we think it’s such a good idea: Once the virus is under control and we’re allowed back outside again, all you have to do is delete your profile and pretend it never happened.
Our eyeballs were all ambushed by the alluring claws of Netflix’s completely deranged documentary Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. Every cast member was more explosive than the last, especially because some of them literally played with explosives.
But much like the pandemic or embarrassing relationships from our college years, we plan to forget about Joe Exotic as soon as things get back to normal. Looking back at our helpless binging, we get queasy at the thought of watching that six-hour car crash again.
First of all, the abused animals were basically an afterthought throughout the entirety of the series. Tiger King wasn’t trying to be the next Blackfish, of course, but the bigger picture was overshadowed/dumbfounded by the collective insanity of the zookeepers. Second, we found ourselves rooting for actual criminals because of the instant memes that took control of every group chat we’re part of. And finally — we value our teeth. #CaroleKilledHerHusband