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Photograph: Time Out/Shutterstock

What we have learned from a year of staying inside

Very important, shocking, life-changing things (largely about household chores)

Written by
Kate Lloyd

This week is one year since the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic. To mark what we’re calling the Pandemiversary, Time Out is looking back at the past year in cities around the world, and ahead to what the future may hold.

It’s been a whole year since the World Health Organisation declared Covid 19 a pandemic and what a remarkable 12 months it’s been. Remember those heady March 2020 days spent trying to find flour in ransacked supermarkets? Remember last May, when we all got really into shaming each other for the cursèd sin of being outside? Remember when we were promised things would get better and then were locked down a further two times? Remember when Christmas was cancelled?

Wonderful, wonderful stuff!

In the age-old fashion of all the millennials who have come before us, what we’re going to do today is take this big old pile of shit we’re calling 2020/21 and try to glean some ‘learnings’ from it. You know: lessons we can take from hustling our way through the hardest times in history, simple wisdom generated from having not left the house in forever.

Below are the very important, shocking, life-changing things we have ‘learned’ from staying inside for a year. Someone go print them on a fridge magnet or something.

It's possible to resent the way someone cooks.

Despite an apparently infinite supply of free time, you still leave clothes on the floor and dishes unwashed. Without the excuse of a busy schedule, you’ll eventually have to confront the fact that you are simply a slovenly pig.

There’s a suburban nosy neighbour inside all of us. All it takes is the removal of all Whatsapp Group gossip to tempt them out.

There is literally no point in owning ‘nice shoes’. Heels? Who even are they??

Deodorant is a bourgeois concept.

Hoovering is also a bourgeois concept.

The Olympic Park is a brilliant idea. Not because it has brought more green space to east London but because it has so many toilets and they’re always open.

Seeing the Thames is nice! 

Our spines are weak and fragile. The payoff for spending a year hunched over a laptop is daily 30-minute ‘mobility and strength’ sessions or a strange, alienating pain whenever you reach for the top shelf of the fridge.

Cooking three nice meals a day is basically a full-time job. Washing up is a separate full-time job.

Hobbies are the worst. Next time, ban sewing machines and turbo trainers outright from all communal areas – your flatmates should enjoy just sitting in silence.

Baths aren’t just a waste of square footage – they’re actually really pleasant!

It's possible to miss the concept of 'shopping on Oxford Street' even if you've not done it since 2010. 

Photograph: Time Out/Shutterstock
Photograph: Time Out/Shutterstock

If you were to ever go to prison, you wouldn't come out the other side as a rock-swole booksmart adonis. You’d just be slightly fatter and more illiterate than when you got sent down.

Having ‘a creative job’ does not mean you can cut hair.

Buying coffee from a coffee shop is never a waste of money, even if you’re drinking it in bed.

On that note: it’s also possible (and totally professional) to work from bed. The ‘desk’ is merely a state of mind.

Having watched ‘Frozen’ 72 times does not make you a genius at building snowmen.

That Adam Sandler DVD you’ve left in its cellophane all this time? There was a reason for it.

The financial significance of office toilet roll and soap is far greater than you imagined. Teabags on the NHS now!

Also: no matter how many times you think about buying a printer you’ll never do it. Double also: someone could make a lot of money driving a printer around town in a van.

Photograph: Time Out/Shutterstock
Photograph: Time Out/Shutterstock

Your pandemic pets will henceforth deem more than one hour apart from you unacceptable and may punish longer absences in petty and disgusting ways.

Hangovers are much crueler without the afterglow of social occasions.

But the thrill of getting things delivered never, ever gets old.

Playing online Mario Kart with pals feels more like socialising than a Zoom call.

Meanwhile, being locked in a flat with your plants for months will not stop you forgetting to water them.

There are two types of people. Those who turn to Ottolenghi slow cooks when they're sad and those who turn to potato waffles.

Your dishwasher and boiler are conspiring against you.

If you make a onesie out of hessian and wear a BodyForm Ultra as a facemask, people are more likely to naturally socially distance.

The only things truly worth living for are hugs, sunlight and Gail's.

And, finally, one to think about... is your moustache even ironic if no one’s around to chuckle at it?


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