Quarantinaversary: a look back after one year of COVID-19

COVID-19 is nothing new. It’s been a year since quarantines started, and the feeling of nostalgia is getting real. The first — and hopefully last — quaratinaversary is here, so it’s time to look back and reflect on what everyone has been doing this past year.

Last March the virus hit, and it hit hard. According to the Center for Disease Control, there have been over 28 million cases reported, over 327 million COVID-19 tests and 68 million vaccines administered all in the past year. 

Since the first quarantine that happened last March, many OU students have moved back to their hometowns with their parents. Instead of days spent in class, everyone transitioned to days spent on Zoom and TikTok. 

According to Wallaroo media, Tiktok has increased its monthly users by 1.1 billion as of February 2021. Trends in meme culture and exciting do it yourself (DIY) videos presented on the platform have gone hand and hand with the free time people have had since the beginning of COVID-19 restrictions.

I know many people that have tried the whipped coffee or the famous feta pasta. And there have also been some arts and crafts, centric DIYs made popular on TikTok. My personal favorite was the air-dry clay making, which I just can’t seem to stop doing.

Another trend has been people binge watching every series available and any new movies they could find. Netflix and Hulu created a lot of original content through the year and viewers have been eating it up. 

From “Tiger King” to “Bridgerton” and everything in between, it’s easy to form an obsession over a show. I gotta admit, watching these shows at the same time as everyone else in the U.S. was almost comforting. It was wholesome seeing all the memes that came from them. It made me feel like we were all connected during the lockdowns.

Those were the distracting and, frankly, the fun parts of the past year. Other than that, it was risking our lives — working in a pandemic and trying to self-teach through online classes. 

As a server (now known as an essential worker) I’ve had to deal with the people and the pandemic. Let me say — not the best combination. With restaurants only being at 50% or 25% capacity, customers have been impatient and unreasonable.

On top of that, there’s been so much uncertainty. Restaurants have gone from open to closed so many times it’s hard to keep up. 

It’d be an understatement to say that online school has been far from easy. I don’t know if the classes are harder or if I’m less motivated or if maybe it’s a little bit of both, but it just seems like a struggle to turn in the work. 

I feel like I wake up and sit in bed all day either on Zoom or on TikTok just waiting to go to bed.  It’s hard to believe this continuous cycle of boredom.

There’ve been some ups and some real downs during the quarantined year that everyone has had to go through. I mean if it wasn’t for the pandemic, maybe this year would have been the year I got my life together. Let’s hope the next 12 months will be a lot better than the last.