By Katherine Wright 

It’s certainly no secret that life is different nowadays. From restaurants to concerts to mask-free grocery store outings, I feel like I can barely remember what I used to do on a regular basis in a pre-COVID world. 2020 has truly been a blur of a year, seeming to go simultaneously fast and slow. It’s been a muddled mess of at-home activities, naps and colorful masks. 

With that being said, I tried to collect distant memories of the pre-COVID world and create a list of common things we used to think about and now rarely do: 

  1. If 30 people are coming to the party, how many kinds of cheeses should I get? I should make two charcuterie boards, maybe. Well, I know Linda doesn’t like cheese, but still. Ah, whatever, I’ll just make three. 
  2. I should get to the library super early so I can get a good seat. It’s always crowded on Sunday mornings. 
  3. If I leave in five minutes, I can make the next T. 
  4. Hmm, which restaurant should we go to next weekend? 
  5. I heard about a brand-new, super-crowded indoor restaurant and bar. I need to go ASAP. 
  6. Half-priced jeans? Score! 
  7. I’m so exhausted from running around all day from activity to activity, social event to social event. 
  8. I need to leave 10 minutes earlier than usual if I want to make it to Starbucks. The line is always ridiculous this time of day.
  9. Alright, it’s just an interview. No need to be nervous. Just go in there, shake the interviewer’s hand and sit right across from them. It will be great! 
  10. How many birthday candles should I get for someone turning 20? Twenty individual candles or just two fancy number-shaped ones?
  11. I guess I should set my alarm for 8 a.m. so I can be on time to my 9 a.m. class. 
  12. I should go to the mall tomorrow to return this shirt. 
  13. I’ll probably just pay in cash. I’d rather not use my credit card for this. 
  14. This dude sitting next to me on the airplane will not stop talking to me. I’m just gonna pretend to be asleep until the flight attendants bring out the cookies. 
  15. I’ll just wait until Dec. 20 to do my holiday shopping. 

It was honestly difficult to group together a list of pre-2020 thoughts. I’ve practically forgotten about the everyday trivialities we used to experience without thinking twice. Similarly, in our “new normal” — or whatever your email subscriptions are calling it —  it’s hard to recognize what’s weird because we’ve been doing it for so many months at this point. 

Regardless, here are 15 thoughts you probably didn’t have one year ago, but have likely thought about at some point in the last few months: 

  1. If this scoundrel in the grocery store walks within my 6-feet bubble one more time, I swear…
  2. Is there enough air circulation and ventilation in this room? Should I open a window? 
  3. Oh, yes, please! Take your mask off to sneeze. That makes perfect sense! Thank you for your intelligence and consideration, sir! 
  4. Do we have enough toilet paper? Should I get some extra to have in stock, just in case?
  5. Grocery list: Lysol wipes, generic hand sanitizer (the more, the better!), bread flour, surgical masks. 
  6. Half-priced sweatpants? Score! 
  7. Wow. How is it November? It was March, and now suddenly, it’s November? Why is Daylight Savings a thing? Why is it so dark outside? What is happening?
  8. *Research vaccine news* 
  9. I don’t think I’ll be able to watch The Bachelorette live that day —  I have Sarah’s Zoom birthday party. 
  10. Birthday candles are a thing of the past now, my friends.
  11. I guess I should set my alarm for 8:55 a.m. so I can log in on time to my 9 a.m. class. 
  12. Wow, how are they standing so close together in that movie? That’s so unsafe!
  13. Have I Lysoled all the doorknobs yet today?
  14. Okay, right after online class I have to go to virtual yoga, then a phone interview and then Instacart some groceries. Or maybe it’s more of an UberEats night?
  15. Guess it’s official. I’ve somehow managed to binge watch every single TV series and corny rom-com on Netflix. 

Ah, what a year. I am so looking forward to a time where we never have to think these thoughts again.