18 Things that Probably Won’t Ever Return to Normal Because of The Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic brought significant changes to our lives. While many aspects have returned to normal, certain changes appear to be permanent. An internet survey recently asked, “What’s something that changed/disappeared because of Covid that still hasn’t returned?” Here are the top 18 responses:

My Social Battery

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“My wife and I just sit at home and maybe go out to a park, do some hiking, and occasionally go out to a board game night. We went to a couple music shows, and I just felt like, what am I doing here? I’d rather be on the couch. But then when I am home, I feel guilty like I should be out “enjoying life” – but have no motivation or, I guess, pull to do anything.”

Caring About My Career

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“I worked to the point where higher-ups told me to apply to get promoted. I’d rather not supervise people and projects instead of having hands-on work without that much responsibility.”

“One of the positive outcomes of the pandemic was that it shows people that there are more important things than careers.”

My Sense of Time

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“I went from being pretty close to approximating when a past event happened to have no clue now. “That happened last year… no, wait, six years ago? Whatever.””

“I don’t have many memories of my day-to-day from March 2020 or any of 2021/22. It really is like a time skip.”

Short ER Wait Times

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“Went to the hospital ER twice around New Year, and on both trips, we waited 13 and 16 hours.”

“I work as a paramedic in Australia. There was this amazing window of time right at the start of the pandemic when people only called an ambulance or presented to the ED for true emergencies. There were no wait times for any patients. I presume this was a combination of social responsibility and fear of contracting covid.”

Affordable Housing

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“The fact that they continue to rise in many markets is what gets me. We could accept 2020’s huge run-up as an aberration. 2021 maybe even still. Finally, in 2022, there appeared to be a slowdown in the meteoric rise. 2023 appears to be tracking the trend to rise again, but we’re only 4 months in, the height of the selling season, so we’ll get another look as the year goes by.”

Direct Delivery from Restaurants

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“The food always arrived and was usually what you ordered, too. With DoorDash, it often needs to be corrected, and sometimes it never shows up. And getting your money refunded is like pulling teeth.”

“I refuse to use those apps. It might narrow my options, but your other replies capture the issues I avoid… and I can be sure the restaurant gets my business without a 30% loss to the app.”

24 Hour Walmart

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“I’ve worked nights for years, and Walmart at 3am is no longer an option, at least nowhere near my house.”

“It’s so annoying now because they stock during the day/evening when many people are still trying to shop. And, The way they stock is to just put a bunch of pallets in every aisle blocking shelves and hard to get around.”

People’s Patience

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“I work in a pharmacy, and people will come in and ask for a refill on a medication they’ve been on for years; we’ll say it’ll be a wait, and they’ll nearly flip the counter over in rage.”

“People became not only cruel but mentally unstable. We were being blamed despite getting our faces breathed and coughed in when there wasn’t an understanding of the virus yet. People would bully us BECAUSE of the pandemic and because they were mad about their lives. The company did not allow us to wear gloves or masks because it was “unprofessional.””

Cool Hobbies that People Picked Up

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“So many lost sourdough starters.”

“The number of dogs abandoned at shelters, too.”

My Business of 17 Years

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“I think of people who ripped off the Covid relief funds, and hearing of people who went through real problems makes me rage. My wife’s business was on life support for almost a year…those funds plus the generosity of her office landlord who gave her a temporary discount on rent were the only things that kept it afloat.”

“We lost our business of 21 years; I’m still not okay with it.”

Affordable Rent

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“I dream of being able to afford a bad apartment as my parents dreamt of owning a home.”

“My (already insane) rent in North Phoenix went from $1800 to $2250. The same place would have been $1000 when I first moved here.”

People’s Mental Health

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“Absolutely. Since the start of Covid, I’ve noticed a huge uptick in people getting angry at the smallest things, not just online but also in real life.”

“Everything feels like sensory overload and too much pressure and makes me exhausted from nervousness. I’ve always highly valued my alone time, but every in-person interaction stresses me so much. I know I’m being ridiculous, but I can’t seem to convince my mind of that.”

All-Day Breakfast at McDonald’s

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“I remember the first time I tried to order breakfast in the afternoon after they’d stopped doing this. Not only had they stopped, but they were rude when I asked.”

“More like the entire menu at McDonald’s. It’s such a sad, strange little restaurant now. I went in a few months back because it was the only restaurant remotely near me thinking I’d get a salad… nope, if you don’t want beef, chicken, or fish on a bun, you’re out of luck.”

Paperwork

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“Everything is pdf and e-signed now. I don’t even see the people I used to get signatures from.”

“Good. As an IT person, printers can take a long walk off a very short pier.”

Souplantation

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“Yeah, we’re still annoyed that Sweet Tomatoes went under. There’s nothing else like it, and it was one of the few places we could get our picky kids to eat something.”

“My son and I still need to get over our local Souplantation closing. We loved that place, and I doubt we’ll see another restaurant like it.”

My Social Life

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“No one wants to do anything anymore. Apparently, during COVID, everyone got used to never leaving the house. Plus, I’m in my 30s, so over that year or so, a few friends moved away, had a kid, etc. I haven’t lost those friendships, but I don’t get to do anything socially anymore.”

Amazon’s Two-Day Shipping

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“I got things from Amazon faster during the pandemic than I do now; it’s terrible.”

“Definitely noticed this. “Two-day shipping” used to actually mean two days. Now it’s, “two-day shipping, in name only, you’ll get it in a week, probably, maybe, hopefully, if we feel like it.””

Dressing Rooms You Can Use to Try on Clothes

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“Yeah, we went to Burlington the other day. They ‘had’ dressing rooms, but it was just like this little box in the front of the store, and they had electric locks, and we couldn’t use them because they were ‘messed up.’ But there were perfectly fine dressing rooms still in the back; we weren’t allowed to use them.”

“The worst dressing room experience I ever had was at the gap; all the rooms were locked, and you had to flag down an attendant to unlock them for you, but the store was understaffed, so I was waiting upwards of 10 minutes every time I wanted to try something new on because the last ones I brought in didn’t fit me.”

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