When we first went into lockdown, we were like tweens on our first day of high school: tittering with nerves and excitement, but determined to make the best of it. We communicated with each other constantly – sharing news headlines to stay informed, reconnecting with distant friends to feel less isolated, reading tips and advice on how to be the best at being at home, and chuckling at memes about the novelty of it all.
This time around, we're like the year twelves who got held back and have to repeat the year. We've seen it all. We know the drill. Our naive optimism about the future has been replaced with cynicism and a worldly exhaustion. We've quit doing homework and started reading Nietzsche and smoking in the bathrooms.
But do you remember the innocence of yesteryear (i.e. April), when lockdown was an opportunity for self-improvement and we cared about what we were wearing on work calls? And occasionally forgot to mute ourselves before going to the bathroom? How adorably clueless we were, how sweet.
Now that we're older and wiser and a little more worn down by life, we do quarantine totally differently. Here's a look at some of the ways we've changed between this shutdown and the last.
Lockdown 1.0: Pledge to learn a new skill or hobby. Buy all the equipment.
Lockdown 2.0: Watch your half-finished crochet project gather dust. Refuse to throw it away because of what that says about yourself.
Lockdown 1.0: Organise Zoom drinks with friends, with games and activities.
Lockdown 2.0: Drink alone in front of the TV. Slowly forget the details of your friends' faces.
Lockdown 1.0: Wear workout clothes everyday.
Lockdown 2.0: Wear trackies everyday. The same pair. Every day.
Lockdown 1.0: On walks, develop a new appreciation for how beautiful your neighbourhood is.
Lockdown 2.0: Cannot bear to walk around your neighbourhood anymore you are so bored of seeing the same things over and over.
Lockdown 1.0: Have a balanced TV diet of feel-good escapist entertainment, critically acclaimed shows and maybe a docuseries or two.
Lockdown 2.0: Watch the trashiest reality TV you can find and reruns of '90s sitcoms that remind you of a simpler time (although you now can't believe how sexist '90s television was).
Lockdown 1.0: Make sourdough starter. One week later bake sourdough. Feel accomplished.
Lockdown 2.0: Buy sourdough. One minute later eat sourdough. Feel smug.
Lockdown 1.0: Think about everything you will achieve with six weeks at home.
Lockdown 2.0: Think about how little was achieved during 12 weeks at home.
Lockdown 1.0: Buy fancy liqueurs, bitters and Vermouths to make elaborate cocktails at home.
Lockdown 2.0: Buy whatever is on special at the local bottle shop. Only use a glass sometimes.
Lockdown 1.0: Clean your house thoroughly because it's where you spend all your time.
Lockdown 2.0: Wallow in your filth because it's where you spend all your time.
Lockdown 1.0: Read articles about how to maintain mental health and/or be productive while working from home.
Lockdown 2.0: Stop reading articles because what's the point? Everything is fucked anyway. Weirdly, find a Zen calmness in accepting that everything is fucked. Unfortunately, you're no longer practising mindfulness so you don't notice it.
Lockdown 1.0: Appreciates a graph in a news story for effective data communication.
Lockdown 2.0: Finds graphs aggressive and triggering, hates graphs.
Lockdown 1.0: Is super on top of the laundry pile.
Lockdown 2.0: Talks to the growing laundry pile like a close intimate friend.
Lockdown 1.0: Start talking about going to New Zealand at the end of the year for a holiday.
Lockdown 2.0: Start signing out of your work email an hour early to start using up all the accrued leave you're never going to take.
Lockdown 1.0: Eats three square meals a day that get more elaborate with every new Instagram post.
Lockdown 2.0: Eats mostly crackers and things directly from the jar.
Lockdown 1.0: Grows ironic facial hair as a memento of this temporary period.
Lockdown 2.0: Overgrown facial hair, like quarantine, is the new normal. Personal grooming standards continue to drop.
Lockdown 1.0: Start running and try new workouts at home.
Lockdown 2.0: Walk to restaurant. Pick up your takeaway order. Walk home.
Lockdown 1.0: Think of Queensland as a place full of sunshine and bogans.
Lockdown 2.0: Think of Queensland as a Covid-free utopia that may yet save us all with a vaccine.