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15 things we all did in 2020 that became part of ‘quarantine culture’

Stay home, stay safe!
Stay home, stay safe! (Pexels.)

It’s an understatement to say the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we live our lives.

While we sheltered inside to stop the spread of the virus, a whole new culture (let’s call it quarantine culture) started, which included cleaning groceries with sanitized wipes, excessively washing our hands and talking to our plants to pass the time.

While some things will (hopefully) go back to normal as more and more people receive the COVID-19 vaccine, there are still some new ways of life that will probably stick around post-pandemic.

So here is a list of the wild and crazy things that became a part of our quarantine culture.


1. Self-isolating when you feel sick.

This is the most obvious thing that happened in 2020. At the beginning of the pandemic, we all basically quarantined, but now, even when you have just a runny nose or a slight cough, quarantining yourself so you don’t get others sick seems to be the new normal.

2. Knowing what the word “pandemic” even means.

Before this year, the word “pandemic” was definitely not in our daily vocabulary, but now, it’s the No. 1 word to describe the state of the world right now. Let’s hope that in 2021, “pandemic” only gets used in the past tense.

3. Practicing social distancing.

This is another new term that appeared in 2020. Before this year, “social distancing” wasn’t a thing -- unless you were trying it out to cut time spent with friends? -- but now, social distancing is basically how we’re all living our lives these days. Let’s hope we can say goodbye to it in the new year.

4. Paying money to watch movies at home.

Depending on where you live, movie theaters might be open or closed, but it seemed for a while that most of us were watching the latest Hollywood flicks from the comfort of our own home. Was it a little weird at first? Sure! But then again, it is kind of nice to make your own popcorn at home and not spend an arm and a leg for a bucket of it at the theaters, right?

5. Treating your sourdough starter like it’s a new pet.

Many of us got really into baking when quarantine started, and one of the most popular things to bake was sourdough bread. But, in order to make sourdough, you need a starter, aka a natural yeast, to make the bread. If you grew your own starter this year, you know that it’s basically like having a live pet in your fridge that you have to feed once a week. During a time in which we didn’t have much control over our lives, it was certainly fun to have control over a sourdough starter.

6. And baking endless amounts of banana bread.

There is not much that’s easier than baking banana bread, which is probably why so many people did it this year. It’s also perfect for millennials to make, because we forget about our fresh produce all the time, so overly ripe bananas never went to waste this year.

7. Learning basic cooking skills.

Besides baking, a lot of us had to learn how to cook for ourselves this year, since, you know, restaurants were closed for a period and not everyone feels comfortable with indoor dining yet. It was kind of shocking just how many people didn’t know the basics, but it sure was a great time to learn how to boil an egg or grill a steak.

8. Becoming BFFs with your Shipt shopper.

Is anyone else utilizing the joy that is having someone grocery shop for you and drop it off on your doorstep? Seriously, once you do it, you won’t ever want to shop for yourself again, and the best part is finding a shopper on one of the apps who is fast, gets all the things on your list and is super friendly.

9. Forgetting your mask at home.

Instead of forgetting your phone or wallet at home, now we have to remember to bring our masks with us everywhere. If you’re smart, you keep a pack of new N-95s in your glove compartment at all times so you never have to worry about masking up and keeping others safe.

10. Becoming a plant mom/dad.

Just like feeding sourdough starter, accumulating an obnoxious number of house plants this year became very popular. We all learned whether we have a proper green thumb or we’re forever destined to kill plants, no matter how hard we try to keep them alive.

11. Wearing sweat pants to work ... at home.

Depending on what you do for work, you’ve either been going into the office since the pandemic started (thank you, essential workers!), or you’ve been living it up in sweatpants while working from the comfort of your very own home. We learned quickly into the pandemic that we don’t own nearly enough lounge wear, and the day that we have to put on regular pants to go back to the office will be a sad one.

12. Zoom becoming your No. 1 form of communication.

Baby showers, weddings and birthday celebrations took place on Zoom this year. Before the pandemic happened, one would think that Zoom was a way of describing someone moving quickly, but now it’s the easiest way to see your friends and family while staying at home and not risking COVID.

13. Happy hours taking place on the internet.

The other good Zoom function is hosting virtual happy hours. While they might have seemed a little odd at first, there is something nice about not having to pay for overpriced drinks, not have to take an Uber home, and not having to wait for drunk snacks from a restaurant when you can pop some in the microwave at home. This might be one thing we hope continues into 2020.

14. Watching concerts at home.

If you love going to concerts, then you’re probably missing live music more than anything, but thankfully, our favorite artists have gotten creative and had some virtual concerts from their homes. It’s not the same, but sometimes it’s fun to experience live music from your living room.

15. Judging people’s at-home offices.

One of the best Twitter accounts that was created during the pandemic was Room Rater, which rated people who are Zooming or Skyping from their home office. The account got so popular that is actually made people start to question their own at-home aesthetics.


Is there anything we missed? What was your favorite (or least favorite) thing about quarantine culture? Let us know in the comments below.


About the Author:

Jack is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in creative writing and French from Western Michigan University. He specializes in writing about movies, food and the latest TV shows.