Back in March, the concept of the world stopping became more than just a Beyonce lyric when New York, along with every other state run by generally intelligent adults, entered an indefinite lockdown. Offices, schools, shopping malls, theaters, restaurants … everything we once took for granted suddenly became out of reach.
Nothing about COVID-19 is positive: Even if you went through divine enlightenment, opened your third eye and were gifted a Bentley, it would still be out-of-touch and tone deaf to claim that a virus that took the lives of millions was ever a good thing.
But wow — I miss lockdown. I miss having no responsibilities, I miss not having to pretend that things were getting better (spoiler: they’re not). This in-between space we’re currently living in — that is to say, floating between the worst (for now) of COVID vs. the end — is just not it. I’m tired of going to work every day, then going to (virtual) class, and being expected to handle the general workload of someone not living through a pandemic.
With talks of a second lockdown looming, I’ve decided to revisit my favorite parts of the original lockdown … season one, if you would.
10. Watching an Entire Season of “Survivor” in a Single Day
The thing about “Survivor” is that it fulfills the reality TV-shaped desire we all hold in our hearts for trashy, mindless entertainment — while still making you feel smart. As you watch, you find yourself thinking “I could do this,” and even while laying on my couch under a heated blanket which I promptly threw off myself at the sight of a spider, I was truly convinced.
I’ve watched plenty of “Survivor” seasons in the past, but my single-day choice was “Survivor: Pearl Islands.” It was very good, and I recommend. Watch out for Darrah, who would’ve been a better presidential candidate than Joe Biden.
9. Going on Walks
Who the hell goes on walks?! Me, during lockdown, apparently. While I did my fair share of walking during my time at New Paltz, I could genuinely not tell you the last time I walked for fun. During lockdown, however, I had nothing to lose. I would walk for hours for literally no good reason. It felt like exercise, yet I was putting in precisely zero effort, and didn’t look embarrassing.
Now, it’s cold — and in the rare flashes of free time that appear in my life, I promise you I am not occupying them with walking. Farewell, walking for fun. You will be missed.
I was such a good vegetarian during lockdown. I ate things like tofu, vegetables, various legumes … I was basically a health god. I had the time, and I had the motivation. Unfortunately, I have regressed back to my pre-COVID vegetarian diet, which consists of STRICTLY carbs, and the occasional Morning Star Chik’n Nugget. It’s pathetic.
7. Actually Answering People’s Text Messages
I famously am really bad at answering texts. I do this thing where I get a text, read it, feel overwhelmed, close it, reopen it, panic, close it and forget about it for hours/days/weeks. In the time that process takes, I literally concoct a fully fleshed out response in my head, but for some reason, cannot bring myself to type it out.
This isn’t reserved for important or dramatic texts. Someone could literally send me a tweet, and I spiral. It’s funny, in retrospect, but also ridiculous.
During lockdown? I was answering texts like it was nothing! In fact, I was SENDING texts FIRST! I don’t even recognize that person now, but I miss him.
6. Watching Best Actress Winning Performances (A.K.A: Setting Goals)
I set a personal goal at the start of lockdown to familiarize myself with every single Best Actress winning performance in history. It was a hefty goal, and one that I did not meet. In fact, I really didn’t even come close; I watched maybe 11, and that’s including the ones I had seen already. Admittedly, I fumbled the bag by trying to go in reverse order, because I got stuck at “The Iron Lady.” I’m sorry, who?
The point is, I set a goal! Yes, I failed, but hey — my heart was in it! My mind was set on something! Do you want to know what my biggest short-term goal is now? Arrive to one of my shifts at The Gap on time … literally just one!
5. Sitting on my Deck and Getting Mild to Severe Burns That Would Eventually Turn into a Very Slight Tan
Beauty is pain, baby! Early on in lockdown, when the weather started warming up, I decided to go on my deck and tan. As a fair skinned individual (putting it lightly), I usually hide from the sun — but this was quarantine, and we were embracing what we once feared, okay! After sitting in the sun for about an hour, I noticed (later on that night) that I maybe had a bit of color to me. “Do I look tan?” I asked my mom, while walking (remember from earlier, I did things like take walks). “Yes,” she responded, without looking at me. Well, that was all the reassurance I needed!
I really took this and ran with it, because the next day I sat out in the sun again and ended up with a ridiculous amount of sunburn. At the time I was upset, thinking I would never be a real person and not a literal stupid tomato. But alas! Just a few days later, the burns turned into a very slight tan. To this day, the ghosts of that patchy, truly uneven tan can still be seen. It’s like they always say; the tans may fade, but the memories last forever!
4. Having a Clean Room
Immediately after typing out that subhead, I realized I have literally no recollection of what my room looked like during lockdown. I actually recently painted it (big for me), and I think I maybe changed the layout too? It definitely didn’t look like what it looks like now, which is clothing everywhere and also a steamer in the middle of the floor (?).
I really think it was clean, though. Either that or I was just so happy that the mess didn’t phase me. The mess phases me now. Don’t read into that.
3. Surprise Music Releases that were Actually Good
Carly Rae dropped Dedicated: Side B on a random Thursday morning in May! Taylor Swift released a surprise album! God, we were fed — and by we, I mean people with my precise music taste.
What do we get now? Positions???? I’ll pass.
2. The Grocery Store Being My Big Outing Each Week
Nothing — and I mean nothing — was more thrilling than rolling up to my local Shoprite each Sunday in the passenger seat of my mom’s car. It was truly the only way to get out of the house, which turned what was once a mundane grocery trip into the highlight of my week. I felt like a local celebrity, occasionally bumping into grown adults from my past who would ask me how school was, to which I would respond “good.” I’m not being facetious; it was exhilarating.
1. My Deep Dive Into Madonna’s Discography
You have no idea. In lockdown, I devoted more of my time, energy, passion, emotion and effort into the consumption and analysis of Madonna’s discography than I have to probably anything else, ever. I treated each album like it was a sacred relic (note: they are) and spent weeks studying each, front to back. On the other side, I came out with an appreciation for Madonna that I don’t think I feel for any other human.
Even though this was my first time truly listening to her music and learning about her life, I know I would not be even half the person I am today had Madonna not existed. Probably 98% of my personality is based on things that she, in some way, had an impact on. Blessed be the queen!