5 Pandemic Habits That We Can Get Used To

 concerned man in mask

In March, worldwide stay-at-home orders fundamentally changed how many of us live our lives. We found new ways to shop, eat, work, and socialize, and now that things are starting to open up again we have another chance to reinvent our lifestyles. Will we try to go back to pre-pandemic modes of living, or will we keep around some of our pandemic habits?
In the last nine months, many people have found new ways to live their lives more joyfully, conveniently, and authentically. Once social distancing isn’t necessary, which parts of it are going to stick around?

mom and daughter cooking together in a bright kitchen

Home-cooked Meals

As public spaces closed down in March many Americans turned to their kitchens: one report from the Research Institute of Retail Consumer Goods found that during quarantine 30% more meals and 25% more coffee was made at home during lockdown than before lockdown.

Although restaurants are opening back up for in-person dining and food delivery options have become more streamlined, this bump in home-cooked meals is likely to stick around for a while. Part of the reason is economic: consumers squeezed by the recession will be eager to save the money that would’ve gone towards eating out. 

However, it’s likely that we will see a habitual change as well. Many folks, forced to consistently cook for themselves for the first time, have found they really enjoy preparing their own food. Others finally found time for cooking when their work went remote, and they’ll continue as long as they don’t need to commute.

video call with far-away friends

Zoom Reunions and Virtual Happy Hours

One of the biggest silver linings to our sudden virtual world has been the rise of zoom reunions, virtual happy hours, and remote game nights, which allow us to transcend physical distance and connect with friends and family that we otherwise wouldn’t see. Now that so many people have become comfortable with virtual hangouts and events, I don’t see this trend going away anytime soon.

online shopping with laptop and credit card

Online Shopping

According to a recent Shopify study, 52% of shoppers report doing more of their shopping online due to lockdowns. The rise of online retail (and subsequent decline of brick-and-mortar stores) was a story long before the pandemic hit, but the transition to online shopping was certainly accelerated by it.

Curbside Pickup

Another interesting finding from the Shopify study regards the rise of curbside pickup: as brick-and-mortar shops and restaurants transitioned to lockdown-friendly formats many of them offered curbside pickup for the first time, and 40% of shoppers took advantage. 

Besides being contactless, curbside is also convenient. Shoppers place their order and can pick it up within a few hours, with no need to shop around the store themselves. That’s why 38% of shoppers--nearly everyone who’s tried it!--plan to continue to shop this way.

happy young couple on a hike with a great view

Fewer Crowds

Even when large gatherings become an option again, we will be slow to return to them. Back in May we conducted our own survey of the Be Vivid You community, and we learned that out of a wide variety of activities--including work, health, beauty, and recreation--concerts, sporting events, public transportation, and movie theaters were the four destinations we’ll be giving the widest berth post-lockdown. It could take a while for folks to feel comfortable in a crowd again, so I wouldn’t expect crowds to be normal for a bit longer.

Did we miss a pandemic habit that’ll be sure to stay? Let us know in the comments below!

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