What has the pandemic changed permanently for you?

Many of us temporarily gave up things we’ve already gone back to, or intend to go back to as soon as it’s safe. But are there any things you realized were never that important to begin with, and will never go back to? Or things you took on that you intend to keep, even if/when things go back to some semblance of normal? Can be trivial or profound.

I quit sorting my laundry by color. I didn’t have enough masks to wait until I had a full load of darks/lights/whites/brights, so I just tossed everything in together. And… it was fine! I have plenty of masks now and no longer wash them every single time I wear them, but I’m done sorting laundry regardless.

I signed up for an antibody study and later a vaccine trial. I’d never been part of a medical study before; I’d never really thought about it. But I found the experience empowering and gratifying, and I would consider being a guinea pig again in the future.

However, while I became more adept at using videoconferencing technology, I still hate it. I was a good sport about having virtual game nights when that was the only safe option for socializing, but I would have to be pretty desperate for human contact to do that again.

I’ll be traveling a lot less, and ordering from Amazon a lot more.

Until the day I die (and even after that) there will always be more toilet paper than is necessary in my house.

I’ve certainly gotten a lot more stockpiling-prone myself. All the supply issues have not played well with anxiety issues.

All my fabric masks are white, and I have enough to last me between white loads. Also bought a mesh bag for them to make it easier to keep them from accompanying other parts of that load into the dryer (they shrink like crazy).

I have zero desire or willingness to work in an office any longer. I love working from home.

Maybe going to movie theaters. It’s been a declining habit for a number of years now, but still something I occasionally did for a lark or just to experience big screen-enhanced spectacles. But I think the pandemic might have killed them dead for me. With large screens and 4K the TV experience is significantly more immersive than it once was, streaming/cable content is vast, new releases transition quicker to the tube than ever before and the big screen eye-candy is just less of a draw for me than it once was.

Meanwhile even aside from the rising cost and the minor hassles of driving/parking, sitting in a big room stuffed to the rafters with people seems positively off-putting. I’ll miss it a little as a relic of my youth, but no more I think than I missed drive-ins which I haven’t attended in ~40 years.

Seriously? My attitude towards Republicans as a whole. Admittedly that’s in conjunction with other politics, but abandoning public health in order to further political one-upsmanship was a low that I will never forgive ( yes, there are plenty of exceptions, but speaking to the majority). I have several family members that downplayed the seriousness of the situation but at least made the minimal efforts to comply. I have others that ignored them, and well, we aren’t speaking to them anymore.

Moving on from that point though, similar to @Tamerlane, movies and other ‘live’ events. I’d go to the movies 2-3 times a year, normally places like the Drafthouse and it’s clones with full food and drinks plus a movie. I just can’t see doing it anymore, and that’s in a much more spread out environment than the average megaplex. Much less going to a concert or sporting event. It was already hard enough to justify $12 for a movie ticket (or $100 for a concert ticket) when I could get it at Redbox for $2 in 6 months or listen to the album for $15.

It destroyed our marriage. We are still legally married, but we never talk about that big orange baboon in the living room or COVID. I’d say we were more like comfortable roommates. I’m still living with him due to inertia and habit.

Hubs is very concerned about me dying first because he needs my retirement to live in the comfort he’s grown used to yet he refused to get vaccinated or wear a mask for my protection. The denial is strong in him.

Oof. I’m so sorry, and sure you’re not alone in that.

Thank you, the grief isn’t as sharp as it was but it’s still there.

The power disparity keeps him from badgering me even though he knows I’m wrong, wrong, wrong. It won’t surprise me one bit if he’s going to the rally on the 15th wearing his FJB baseball cap. (Which he doesn’t wear if we are going out together because he knows that he will go by himself.)

We also have a 9 month old Kovid Kitten. That’s a bit of a life changing event for people our age. I bought the little jerkface because I was pissed when hubs got Covid the first and put down a deposit on another one when hubs brought Delta home.

You know how some anti-vax folks change their minds when they get offered a hundred bucks or two (like a couple of sisters of mine did?) Hubs gave up at three grand.

Strong moral beliefs my ass.

missed this the first read, sorry

I stopped enjoying sitting in a theater when cell phones arrived, but dang, I do wish there was a drive in somewhere close. One playing grade B movies would be best, but I’d go every week no matter what except if they were showing porn. Watching porn at the movies just always seemed wrong to me. Thank gawd for VCR’s.

No crowd events of any kind. That includes movies, concerts, crowded bars or restaurants. It was risky enough during flu season, but now there is double the trouble even for the vaccinated, so bye-bye to all that. We are probably going to go back to grocery delivery until omicron subsides, as well. Costco is just too risky a venue.

But do you see yourself never wanting to do those things ever again?

At this point, I don’t see us doing those things again, other than Costco probably. At our age, it just doesn’t make sense to put ourselves at risk.

Going out without a mask. I feel naked if I don’t have it on or in my shirt pocket.

I don’t always wear one, if I’m outside walking the dogs or at the park, I have it but usually not wearing it. But any place I go that’s crowded or indoors I make sure to put it on. Even after/if Covid has passed, I think I will keep up the habit.

There’s a whole lot more out there than Covid. (It also helps keep the face warm when it’s cold out.)

Having a stockpile of stuff. I’m battling simultaneous desires to a) not live like a hoarder while b) having a supply of food, medications (especially prescription meds), and household goods on hand at all times.

When my son caught the OG Covid last spring we had to isolate immediately. Then my other son caught it. So we were housebound for something like 22 days. We aren’t in an area with grocery delivery so we had to rely on family members to bring us stuff or Amazon shipments, at a time when “2-day shipping” was more like a week or 10 days shipping. Things like dishwashing soap and napkins we ordered but then had to ask family to bring a supply to us because the shipments were delayed. Never again.

I will never, ever be without at least 6 or 8 week’s worth of TP again. I will always have at least 1 extra month’s worth of my prescription medications on hand at all times. I will make sure I have several weeks worth or shelf-stable groceries on hand at all times while doing my best to keep my freezer fully stocked always. I’ll make sure I have excess cleaning supplies, especially disinfectants, on hand at all times. Ditto masks.

While I’m not going full-on prepper, the goal is to be able to live for a month at home, isolated with no advance notice.

I’m not sure if we’ll go back to live events. Other than movie theaters we really didn’t go out. PPV through Amazon and Disney+ covers much of what we want to watch. Concerts, fairs, and the like don’t interest us.

We’ve gone out to eat a few times but not since Omicron hit. I don’t know if that’s something we’ll return to.

We don’t travel by plane or train, so that isn’t an issue either.

And I’ll always make sure I’m up-to-date on my vaccinations.

Never working in an office again. I’m happy about that and I realize I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to do so.

When we first went on lockdown I started going to the grocery once every two weeks instead of weekly. This has worked out fine and I expect it will become the norm.

A behavior change which will definitely be the norm is not taking my purse into the store. Early on there was worry about transmitting the virus on surfaces, and it seemed risky to take a purse into the grocery. Instead I put my list, phone, car keys and a credit card in my pockets.

This turned out to be very liberating. It took a few trips to the store before I stopped worrying about where my purse was. Want to spend a couple of minutes finding apples with no bruises? No being encumbered with the purse or trying to keep one hand on it in the cart. (My mother-in-law had her wallet stolen out of her purse which she’d left unsupervised for a minute.)

It definitely made me strongly against working in an office, I won’t say ‘never again’ since I don’t want to be forced to eat those words, but I’d have to be desperate for a job or else it’s a job that simply can’t be done remotely

I’m a widow with no family, and when everyone first locked down, I felt the isolation even more than in my normally isolated life. Going months without an in-person conversation, without eating a meal in the presence of another person, without human touch, even from a hairdresser or a medical practitioner. Damn.

Now that we’ve been enduring this for over two years, and I’ve resumed some activities that involve being in the presence of others (still no physical contact :cry:), like grocery shopping, choir singing, lunch outdoors with someone… I’m kind of used to it. A better word might be resigned. Is this what happens when people are sentenced to prison and finally figure out that they’re going to be there for XX years and nothing is going to change that? When they stop fighting it in their minds and guts and surrender to reality?

When I hear about people who are struggling with sending kids to school, taking care of aging parents either in their own home or remotely, tending to chronically ill spouses/partners, or when I read accounts of those who have lost jobs and income… frankly, I wouldn’t trade my aloneness or even my loneliness for those heartbreaking, impossible predicaments. Even among my own circle of friends (in my age group, 70s+) four women have husbands with serious, progressive health problems. I’ve been through that and don’t want to go there again.

So I guess what has changed permanently for me is my resistance to my life circumstances. I’ve surrendered. Thank God I don’t have to work, don’t have to worry about anyone (except my dog), and I’m financially secure. I have a lot to be grateful for. Even if I never get another hug or kiss as long as I live.

I won’t say ‘never again’ since I don’t want to be forced to eat those words,

I agree with not saying “never” usually, but in this case I say it because this is the last place I’m working, and they’ve already categorized me as permanent remote along with a lot of people I work with. If this job was to end, I’d just retire now rather than four years from now.