As 2020 began, many of us were seeking a slower change of pace. Our calendars were packed with swim lessons, soccer practice, piano recitals, networking events, and birthday parties, and it seemed like there was never any time to curl up with a book or enjoy a picnic.
When the novel coronavirus, called COVID-19, broke out in the United States and orders were made for businesses to close and for families to remain sheltered at home, suddenly we found the time we were looking for. Though tensions have run high, spending so much time with our spouses, children, and loved ones at home has been such a gift.
Below, we’re sharing 19 anomalies Sandites are experiencing during the COVID-19 outbreak. Feel free to tear this page out and add it to your scrapbook or backyard time capsule. This period of time is one our children and grandchildren will ask us about for years!
- Gas is $1.39 a gallon (for reference, gas was $2.66 per gallon in January 2020).
- Grocery stores are sold out of toilet paper, disinfecting supplies, flour, milk, and eggs. Some stores have implemented purchasing limits on items like Clorox and boxed pasta.
- Grocery stores are open, but many people opt for pick-up or delivery. Inside the stores, tape and signs are used to help shoppers maintain six feet of distance.
- Schools are closed and classes are conducted through Google Classroom and Zoom.
- Church services are held online through digital streaming services.
- Birthday parties are celebrated virtually through FaceTime. Some people are throwing drive-by birthday parades or arranging home delivery for special treats.
- Collegiate and professional sports seasons have been cancelled. March Madness, an NCAA tournament held every spring, was cancelled for the first time since 1939.
- The Summer Olympics, slated for July 2020 in Tokyo, were cancelled preemptively.
- Concerts, festivals, conferences, and tours across the country are cancelled and hotel occupancy is in the single digits.
- Weddings are cancelled, causing huge financial losses for florists and rental companies. Funeral services are being postponed or commemorated virtually.
- Restaurants and coffee shops are only open for take-out or delivery; no dine-in option.
- No one can receive beauty services like haircuts, eyebrow waxing, or manicures because salons are closed and estheticians can’t perform at-home services.
- Breweries are temporarily permitted to hand-deliver canned and bottled beers to homes.
- Distilleries are making hand sanitizer and fabric companies are making masks.
- Retailers are offering steep discounts on everything from patio furniture to denim shorts.
- Businesses are selling take-home kits for kids, including cookie decorating and ceramic painting, and stationery products are a hot commodity for exchanging letters.
- Hiking trails and lakes are packed and everyone is landscaping their lawns.
- Top phrases being used on the news are “social distancing” and “flattening the curve.”
- Families are spending more time together than they have in recent decades.