Nice little things the pandemic has given you

To go with my other, more depressing thread. Covid has fundamentally changed lots of stuff in my life, but it’s not all bad. Just mostly.

Yesterday I was in the store and was listening to music on my (open ear) headphones. Since I was wearing my mask I felt comfortable lip-syncing along with my tunes and didn’t feel like a moron.

I’ve been doing a Saturday evening outdoor potluck with some friends for the last few months. We all try to make dishes we’ve never prepared before and I’ve cooked and eaten some great stuff.

Open container violations are no longer something Chicago police care about.

I’m working from home and my employer won’t pay for our cell phone data among other things. So I’ve been instructed not to take phone calls from people outside our team/not to give them our personal phone numbers and just offer them our e-mail addresses. Which means I avoid having to return any calls, 95% of which typically should have been e-mails in the first place.

Kind of a nice big thing, but with my husband working from home, we get way more time as a family than we ordinarily would. We have lunch together most days, and he gets more time with the kiddo in the evenings. It won’t be the same once he returns to the office.

My wife and I have been working from home and we take a walk at lunch each day. This ends next week when I return, but it has been nice.

I bought expensive opera tickets for the Opera Australia Ring Cycle in Brisbane, starting after Thanksgiving. When they canceled the performances, they refunded my purchase price. Since the Australian dollar had gained in the interval, I was paid $100 more than I had paid last November. So I’ve got that going for me. Of course, I also had to cancel a once-in-a-lifetime trip and miss an amazing cultural experience, so it’s not all good.

Not to minimize this, but Fuck Yeah. I can drive 90 miles an hour down my little slice of highway, and the Highway Patrol just nod at you. Because they know any ticket they issue is gonna get dismissed, because of that pesky, oh shit, I don’t even know the amendment. But Hell Yeah! Court is closed? I’m driving like I want. All totally safe and controlled, so settle down, Dope. Fast does not equal dangerous. I just get around a lot better lately.

I don’t have to feel guilty about staying home. I’ve always put pressure on myself to “get out there” and be active socially.

It’s looking like I’ll get to work from home permanently, which I have wanted to do for a while. Because of the pandemic I’m not realizing all the benefits it should bring long term, and I really would like to be in the office maybe one day a week, but overall I’m super happy to not have to commute.

My gf will be working from home until she retires one day.

I’ve found people are eager to lay blame on COVID-19. If I fuck up at work, the affected client assumes it happened due to corona, and shrugs it off.

After all my vacation plans were screwed over, my kids and I got scuba certified. I’ve been wanting to do it for years but never did it. We went to visit my father and did a discovery dive and my kids wanted to continue. We haven’t done any dives except in quarries this year, but hopefully next year we’ll be able to travel to Florida or some place to get some nice ocean dives in.

Yeah, all this sucks, working from home, not being able to do a lot of things, but I’m glad I took advantage of what I was able to do.

All of mine are work from home related:

  • Sleeeeep. I sleep in until about 15 minutes before I start work. I get a lot more sleep and remember a lot more dreams. Or, I stay up late like it’s the weekend and still get a decent night’s shuteye.
  • If maintenance people, plumbers, etc., need to show up during the week, no more complicated working around my or my wife’s schedule to figure out who will be home and when.
  • General flexibility to run day errands.
  • No worries about work clothing. Small, infrequent loads of laundry.
  • Ability to cook a complicated meal for dinner on a weekday if I so desire.

We got to spend the first three months with our first grandchild (born 7/7, 7 pounds 7 ounces), instead of the pre-COVID average of two weeks or so.

In a big house. With four adults all working from home. So daily chores and childcare were evenly divided. (My job was housekeeping and about 85% of the cooking.)

Nice for the new parents, great for us. Baby seemed to like us, too.

Business Casual now means nice Polo shirt, underpants and slippers.

Those blow driers that dry hands in public restrooms are disabled and taped up. FINALLY, that germ fiield is closed. Going to the doctor only takes a couple of hours, not half a day, and there’s only two chairs in the waiting room.

I really appreciate curb side pickup at all manner of establishments and hope that it is successful enough to be an option even when the pandemic is over. It is feeling like a new normal.

We took the opportunity to explore nature trails at many local parks.

Hopefully, mask wearing will be somewhat normalized during cold and flu or allergy season from here on out for anyone who feels the need.

I’ve discovered The Amazing World of Gumball on the Cartoon Network. This is the greatest tv show in the history of the universe. How have I missed this although it went from 2011 to 2019.

A lot less traffic on the freeway!

A few already mentioned:

Time: pre-plague I had to wake up at 0530 to shit, shave, shower, and shine if I wanted to be in my classroom with enough time to prep before the 0800 bell. I had a ~45 minute commute, 37 miles each way. Now I get up at 0745, and my commute is about 30 feet from my bed to my laptop. 40 if I detour for coffee first. The amount of money I’m saving on gas is significant.

Dress code violations are no longer a thing: my previous uniform of black Dockers, an Oxford shirt, and a cashmere vest has been supplanted with either (in the summer) swim trunks and a t-shirt from some decades-past classic rock band tour, or (winter) sweat pants and the same shirt. As long as whats left of my hair is brushed a bit and my beard doesn’t look too scruffy, I’m good to go.

My wife lost her job when the 'rona shutdowns hit in March, and she has used the opportunity to go back to school. Thats been probably the biggest positive in all this.

I’d still prefer the “old” normal, for the most part, but these elements have been nice.

In the Stupid little things the pandemic has taken from you thread, I lamented missing many restaurants that I used to visit. The flip side is that I’m eating healthier now that I’m dining almost exclusively at home.

Along those same lines, I’m getting more exercise. I used to take a short walk (~1/2 mile) a couple of times a day while at work. This summer my wife and I found a nice place to walk where we hardly see any other people, so now we’re walking 2-4 miles each time we visit. We go pretty much every day when the weather’s good, and when it’s not, I’ve been putting in time on an elliptical trainer. with these diet and exercise improvements, I’m probably healthier than I’ve been in quite some time.

At work, I share an office with a couple of other guys, so we don’t play music - and I can’t really listen on headphones, because that makes it harder to spontaneously interact with those guys or with anyone else who walks in. At home, it’s just me and my wife, so we get to play music all day. Usually 80s hits. :slight_smile:

The lack of commute is great. My commute was short, just 15 minutes each way, but even that savings has been nice for me. My wife had a much longer commute, and she really hates driving; she is delighted that she hasn’t been behind the wheel at all since March and probably won’t be until the middle of 2021 at the earliest. Even after that, the proliferation of teleworking infrastructure and policies means she probably won’t be driving in as much as she used to.