5 Pandemic Habits That Should Totally Stick Around
Like most people in the world, a global pandemic was not high on my radar at the start of 2020. My breast cancer was in remission, my husband and I were excited to welcome another baby (via surrogacy) and we were preparing our then-3-year-old to meet his new sibling.
We imagined driving that summer from Toronto, where we were living, to my home state of Rhode Island and introducing our newest family member to my parents, who would in turn host a party so our extended family and dear friends could meet our miracle baby.
And then everything changed. While our beautiful baby, another boy, was born healthy, because of COVID-19 guidelines, my husband and I were not allowed in the delivery room for the birth and the subsequent road trip to New England for his big reveal was also obviously no longer on the cards.
Thus began many months of remote birthday parties, Zoom graduations and endless FaceTime chats.
Finally, the world is starting to open up again, gradually returning to resembling pre-COVID life. And while there are certainly some pandemic habits to ditch—like not hugging loved ones—there are routines that arose from this worldwide pandemic worth maintaining.
Getting creative with private dining
It's great to sit on a patio for a cocktail and laugh with friends, but how fun is it to forgo restaurant dining and instead opt for a curbside pickup picnic? Truck bed picnics are an easy and enjoyable way to keep meal prices down and for a family or couple to spend more quality time with each other.
With young kids, eating out is always difficult, but during the pandemic, my husband and I found ourselves thinking outside the box more readily. One date night, we got dressed up, picked up some of our favorite sushi, ventured to a park and thoroughly enjoyed our time together.
Daddy, did you wash your hands?
Another big one is the increased frequency of handwashing. This should be a no-brainer, but many of my male friends commented that they actually have to wait for a sink to wash their hands when using a public restroom, as so many more men are partaking in proper hand hygiene.
Kids, too! Kids are being taught so much about how critical handwashing is that it's now become a habit many little ones won't dare skip. My toddler is already a pro at handwashing and always likes to ask his father and me if we remembered to wash our hands when he sees us exiting any bathroom.
On the road again
Family road trips and scenic drives are a must-keep pandemic practice. Since many folks were (and still are) hesitant to fly due to the virus, families packed up cars and hit the road as an alternative. Sure, a plane will get you there faster, but the quality time of a car ride can't be replaced. Not to mention the cost-saving benefits of driving versus flying, especially when you have to buy tickets for all kids 2 and over.
Of course, that's not to say you should never fly again, but it's nice to be reminded that taking the long way home sometimes is totally worth it.
Drive-in movie anyone?
I've always been a big fan of drive-ins and often wondered why they weren't more popular in general. During the pandemic, there was a mini drive-in resurgence and kids who had no idea what a drive-in movie was were finally getting to experience its campy charm.
Plus, with movie theaters closed, many parents turned their backyards into home theaters, going as far as hanging white sheets up and having Disney movie marathons. We can't lose that or my kids (and I) might riot.
Bye-bye gym membership
While some people complained about the "quarantine 15" and got a little lax with their workouts, many found themselves exercising more and building home gyms.
Because working from home had become the new norm, incorporating exercise into the daily grind became easier. Instead of having to change and go to a gym, you can wake up, put on workout clothes and pump out 10 minutes of cardio here and 15 minutes of strength training there without traveling more than a few feet.