Since COVID hit, it’s safe to say that our lives will never be the same again. Even if a vaccine is successful, there have been so many changes to our way of doing things—it’s hard to say what will remain and what will fall away. Some people have embraced working from home more and seeing their children more, others have had to reorganize their day to be productive. Masks are a part of everyday existence. We wash our hands all the time. We have extra hand sanitizer and toilet paper. We’re redefined personal space as six feet apart and private time as hiding in the bathroom. And there are so many more ways COVID has changed our lives.
On Reddit, folks are discussing the things that they think will never be the same once the pandemic is over—and some are good while others are sad. Deep breaths, everyone.
“Time spent with my kids. Pre-pandemic I would leave the house 5 days a week at 6:15am to commute to the office, usually before anyone else in my house is awake. And I’d get home most evenings just in time to put them to bed. I’ll never go back to that. The past 8 months I’ve actually seen my boys grow up in front of my eyes and I get lots of quality time with them every day, even with work from home. I know now what I was missing.” — darylcarolan
“Hopefully your boss will finally admit that all his dumb meetings actually could have been emails all along.” — cassiecas88
“As a kitchen worker, I am very concerned about our industry. SO many independent restaurants have closed down in our town, like, 1/3 at least in the past months. It’s depressing because we all have a deep passion for our careers, and we’re just watching it all crumble.” — Bokb3o
“My dogs have expected me to basically be around all the time and rub their belly’s 24/7.” — puddyspud
“Most of the mom and pop stores in my town are gone forever. Some of these stores I grew up with, the nickle arcade, the tiny French bakery my aunt took us to when we got good grades, the only ramen shop open after 10PM, my favorite donut shop, the fancy British tea shop I never had a good date in but many London Fogs that were utterly perfect, the only dim sum place, the handmade mochi and tea shop, the only cigar shop in town to get fancy cigars…I lament the death of all these tiny businesses I took for granted. I always thought they’d be around. Now my community is left with just brand named box stores, no more originality and flavor. Just closed skyrise buildings surrounded by a garishly lit Denny’s, Olive Garden, and Target.” — Not-A-SoggyBagel
“Working in an office, particularly in Japan. I live in Japan. Going to the office and spending all day here is a deep cultural tradition. Asking your manager at a traditional Japanese company to work from home regularly is on par with asking them “Hey I just realized I’m Dragonkin, can you please work with the cafeteria to put live cats on the menu?”, you would get the same reaction. Even in cases of personal illness or family emergency. So many companies here, even in the early COVID days, flat out publicly said, ‘Hah, no, we will NEVER be doing that ‘work from home’ thing, sorry. That’s laughably naïve.’ Then, the country issued a ‘Declaration of National Urgency’ (not an actual Emergency, as that would entitle the govt to be actually accountable to the livelihoods of the people, just a very strong arm public stance and shaming businesses into following suit). Literally those same companies issuing the statements above were scrambling the next week to get their staff safely working from home, online, using remote meeting tools, etc. So, that was a big game-changer. Still, everyone was thinking, ‘Once the urgency order is lifted, we’ll all be going back to work as normal.’ Well, the urgency order lasted a few months. And those traditional Japanese businesses saw what happened to their bottom lines when they no longer had to pay for electricity, heating/AC, cleaning, office equipment and maintenance, subsidized travel expenses to/from work, soft items like coffee and snacks, etc… and so many of them now are singing the praises of a ‘sensible work from home policy’ and planning for even long-term work-from-home options. Now the society is changing very rapidly to accommodate working from home. More people recently are less looking at buying their first house/apartment in crowded Tokyo outskirts/close suburbs, and looking more to buying 1-2 hours away in the boonies where land is actually affordable and living is better.” — Diamond_Sutra
“Obliviousness to how many things I touched between hand washings.” — snortingdietcoke
“I will not take hugs for granted.” — Joesdad65
“My attitude towards my entertainment backlog. Previously I used to look at my PlayStation library or my Netflix list and think, ‘If I just had a few weeks off,I could make a serious dent.’ I’ve had more then a few weeks off and my backlog seems if anything more endless,I’ll probably be in the retirement home with that little voice in the back of my head going, ‘Peaky Blinders is meant to be good, should get on that.'” — OnGapYearForever
“Standing next to someone after they sneeze.” — chronos37