It's a massively giant understatement to say the past few years of pandemic have been a supremely weird and bad time.
From social isolation to death itself, people across the world have been plunged into a bizarre timeline rivaling dystopian movies, and now we're expected to return to daily life unscathed and ready to be productive and present.
It can feel surreal to step out and feel all that's transpired, which is why it's so cathartic to hear other people's experiences from the last few years.
I live a block away from a very busy highway. While I never really noticed the sound of the highway, when it was gone, the silence was amazing!
I remember some of the restaurants near me started selling groceries during lockdown. It was so weird walking past a high end restaurant known for its oysters only to see stacks of toilet paper, six packs of beer, non perishable foods, etc in its windows.
I don't remember 2021 at all.
Waiting in a lineup outside of the grocery store. Everyone had to stand on a sticker to stay properly distanced from one another and security would wait until someone left before letting another person inside. No such thing as a 'quick shop' during those times.
Our community did a drive-by party for a 103-year old Pearl Harbor Survivor. Since we knew we weren't going to do parades or festivals anytime soon, this became the event of the year. If I remember, there were over 600 vehicles involved.
Our congressman sat on the lawn with the birthday boy (at a safe distance away from him, of course). All the local beauty queens showed up. Motorcycles, vintage cars, and even a few floats. We made the local news (my car's front bumper was televised for a few seconds).
Toilet paper hoarding.
When people first started wearing masks and they were sold out everywhere so people had to improvise and create their own weird random supplies from home.
L.A. filling an outdoor skate park with sand and arresting someone for swimming all by themselves in the ocean.
Going for a hike in the woods, seeing absolutely no one but still finding masks littered at the trailhead.
For mine, it’s the photo of the priest baptizing a baby from a distance with a water pistol. Pure absurdity. I got off fairly lightly compared to most re covid. My city was closed only for a matter of weeks, nobody I know was ventilated or passed from it so my experience is different from most and for that, I'm grateful, while remaining aware of my good fortune.
All the talk about people being 'essential', when in reality we were just expendable.
The alcohol distilleries that turned into hand sanitizer manufacturers almost overnight. I regret not grabbing that obvious vodka bottle which was filled and labeled as hand sanitizer, at the gas station back in 2020. It was cool to see all the trends too. Like we all started baking bread and riding a bicycle. It was cute.
We have a pandemic every 100 years or so right around the 20s, and we’ve had like 15 years of experts saying that the next big world-changing event would be a pandemic, and then the worldwide medical organizations who monitor pandemics were like ‘hey guys we have a pandemic coming’, and people were still like, ‘This has got to be fake; why have I never heard of pandemics before?’
Indian bloggers bragging about how India was so adept at handling pandemics (because for reasons unknown the initial wave pretty much bypassed India)…
…and then Delta hit.
Working in Covid ICU and everyone around me telling me Covid was fake, meanwhile I was having nightmares every single night and couldn’t eat. We lived very different realities.