Coronavirus

One Year of COVID-19: A Look Back 

It’s been a little over one year since our world changed due to the onset of COVID-19. As we navigate what life will look like post-pandemic, let’s look at some of the ways we made it through this wild year. 

It’s been a little over one year since our world changed due to the onset of COVID-19. Offices closed, birthdays and holidays were celebrated over Zoom, and Amazon most likely visited your street multiple times per day. People explored their neighborhood like never before, baked bread, made frothed coffee and tye-dyed everything in sight. Maybe it was the smart home products that made tasks easier or luxury goods that made the ordinary feel more extraordinary. We did it. As we navigate what life will look like post-pandemic, let’s look at some of the ways we made it through this wild year. 

mother and son doing crafts at home

Boredom Busters 

Let’s face it, the extra time at home could be…. boring. No matter how many times you organized your junk drawer or power-binged a show (or three), time was on your side my friend. Boredom busters quickly became everyone’s go to resource for getting out the extra energy and helping the time pass just a bit faster. Was it even 2020 if you didn’t learn a TikTok dance? 

Read: Stay Entertained while Staying Indoors: 39 Ideas to Bust Your Boredom

High-End Goods 

G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S, we’re first class… in our tye-dye jammies. For many, stay at home orders gave people an opportunity to explore the finer things to make life at home more comfortable. According to a recent Homes.com survey, 39% of respondents said that recreational tools, like the famous Peloton bike, have been their number one quarantine item! For others, investing in a Nespresso machine makes the morning cuppa joe exponentially more enjoyable. 

luxury goods, staying at home, indoors, covid 19

Smart Home Technology 

More time at home meant a greater need for smart technology to make everyday tasks more streamlined. Homes.com recently found that nearly 65% of homeowners and renters purchased some sort of smart technology during the pandemic, with 49% of them making their first-ever smart tech purchase. Why all of a sudden a need for this new technology? Roughly 70% of folks cited a desire for additional home security. 

Read: 9 Futuristic Smart Home Products You Need This Year

We’ve talked about how other people made it through this year, now we want to hear from Y-O-U! We want to know what hobby, product, or purchase has been a game changer for you this year! Simply comment below, and consider yourself entered to win one of four $50 Amazon gift cards! Winner will be announced and contacted on or around March 23, 2021. Must be 18 years or older to enter.

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Living the millennial life with my husband and Wheaten Terrier in beautiful Virginia. I document my life on Instagram and am ready to talk all things home-related at a moment's notice.

126 Replies to One Year of COVID-19: A Look Back 

  1. My pandemic must haves: lots of leggings and soft pants, fancy skin products and serums (no better time to experiment!), and outdoor space – we bought a house this year, and a deck and yard were our top priority!

  2. New storage and decor! We’re all here ALL. THE.TIME. Little things that only mildly annoyed me before suddenly became the bane of my existence after I’d looked at them for a zillion hours. Add in all of the remote school accessories and WFH equipment, and things for overwhelming FAST. Burning the house down wasn’t an option, so I splurged on decor and storage instead! It has been so important that our home be interesting, comfortable, functional; and can accommodate work, school, fun, and relaxation all at once.

  3. My Kindle has been my life saver during quarantine! I’ve had so much more time to read, and the ebooks have saved me money over a physical copy. Still love the smell and feel of a real book, but my Kindle has become my new favorite!

  4. I’ve really enjoyed my low-caffeine white tea! I’m very sensitive to caffeine, and I was so excited to get some white tea as a gift. It tastes so good, and gives me a little wakeup without the racing heart and shaking hands.

  5. Echo dots are the only my 3 kids that are remote learning from home make it online on time for various class merts throughout the day!

  6. We started playing music appropriately themed to go with our dinners. Taco Tuesday paired with some Mexican music creates a fun atmosphere. We also ramped up Friday night movie nights with a sort of a charcuterie board/finger foods served in cupcake tins for the kids. It’s a nice reward that marks the beginning of the weekend.

  7. Puzzles, board games and card games became even more popular in our house and we also started watching all of the Marvel movies again, in order that they were released. We set up a “concessions stand” with candy, popcorn and drinks and everyone takes a turn working the stand. So that’s been fun for us all to do together and also see some of the older movies that we haven’t seen in years.

  8. We’ve perfected fancy coffee at home. It feels like a treat, but its also essential to our daily maintenance haha

  9. We have rediscovered lost hobbies like baking, sewing, crocheting. I’ve also read so many more books in the past year than ever before- kindle and audio books have been a literal sanity saver. When the weather got cooler last fall, we discovered a number of good hiking trails close to home that helped us get away from home while staying safe.

  10. Family games have helped us! I also started reading again, something I hadn’t really done since having my 4 kids! For pleasure and not for school/work anyway. I’ve been plugging away through book after book here lately!

  11. We built a new house a yr and a half ago, so we used that time while my husband was off work for 3 wks to do outdoor projects. We buried downspouts, extended our concrete patio with paver blocks, hung patio lights, put edging all around our house and had stone delivered and placed that all around the house. It’s a beautiful grey stone! Also we had a landscaper bring in top soil for our backyard and had it seeded. We feel great about our hard work and accomplishments while we were challenged with the pandemic.

  12. Having a routine and spending as much time outside as possible, playing with friends or by ourselves! And starting counseling this year has helped immensely.

  13. I walk every morning, while the house is still asleep. I listen to my daily Bible podcast and focus on how I want my day to be. A few times a week I work out with my son as a way to bond. I don’t do any of this for weight loss, it’s purely for my mental well being, any other benefit is merely in addition to my mind.

  14. I’ve discovered the beauty of online shopping…I had never done before. Now I can get groceries, cosmetics, prescriptions, clothing, cleaning supplies, gadgets, birthday and holiday gifts…. The list just goes on and on. And has been such a blessing for me…for necessities and pleasures. ❤️

  15. I have been knocking out my list of overdue projects for the house. Oh, and what I mean by “knocking out projects” is that I’ve hired professionals. Haha! In fact, I was so inspired by the herringbone accent wall that I’m having this done in my house tomorrow. I am so excited about this project for sure!!! Thank you for your inspiration!!!!

  16. Plants and planting new life has been a super fun hobby of mine over the last year. I love seeing the progress and keeping something alive is encouraging to me! ♡

  17. I’ve learned I am NOT a puzzle person or DIY person. I do not flourish working from home. I get energy from others and I’m a hugger. I’ve been reminded that I don’t have to do what works for others. This works for me: making my own decisions, not watching the news, not living in fear, God is not just in a church, sunshine is a necessity, working out keeps me sane, and I don’t need everyone to know my opinions.

  18. I figured out how to bake good sourdough bread! Made my own starter and grew that little baby all through the pandemic and now bake with it on a regular basis.

  19. We spent all the time we could outdoors, hiking, boating and just sitting on our front porch.

  20. I was going to a group training class at the gym prior to covid, but only 2-3 days a week. Once covid hit, I kept up with workouts at home, not too intense, but it was something. Once my gym opened back up in May I started going 3 days a week and now I’m up to 4-5 days a week! It’s my sanity, I look forward to going and seeing my friends and socializing with everyone. The gym is feeling like family and I love the community!

  21. I taught myself to crochet! Now I’m making squares to block together into blankets and I feel like Oprah…YOU GET A BLANKET! And YOU GET A BLANKET! And I may be crocheting a Yoda beanie for my cat. Look forceful she will.

  22. Self-care has been restoring my sanity! Never took time to pamper myself before the pandemic. As a teacher, I never really had time. Feel like a new woman now!

  23. Trying new Pinterest meals and anything self care has been huge for me! Before COVID, I was working 3 jobs and never had me time. I’ve realized the importance of sharing a meal with loved ones, playing games and taking time for ME! Face masks, books, facial reflexology and acupressure mat have been my go tos!

  24. It is almost difficult to imagine not having any smart home technology nowadays! From the Nest thermostats to home security systems that you can control from apps on your phone, I definitely understand where the statistic is coming from. Also, many more people bought homes 2020-2021. The housing market is going through a historical season and I think that the rise in homeownership surely contributed to the rise in smart home technology.
    Anyways, to answer the question, we simply go outside on walks as often as we can. Sometimes it’s just in our neighborhood and occasionally it’s a a trail. Getting that fresh air and simple exercise has been helpful mentally and physically.

  25. Had heard about mental illness and mental health but never really understood it. The pandemic challenged that. So I’ve practiced self- care like never before. Yoga, long walks/exercising, reading, hot baths, meditation, and family time. It’s harder when you live in a city with truly cold weather – I appreciate having my coffee in pjs like never before.

  26. Two products have saved me! 1 – my laptop stand, I work from home and it’s a must have if you love your neck 😂 2 – rollerblades, love a fresh air moment to avoid going mad in you office/bedroom/gym.

    @desiraymershani

  27. We’ve been able to spend more time working on our house renovation! 🙌🏻🙌🏻

  28. We jump started an old, neglected garden in our yard. It was such a nice escape to go play in the dirt. Currently building a second raised bed so we can expand.

  29. Reading, needlepoint, and gardening have really gotten me through the pandemic. And this time last year I thought I had a black thumb!

  30. Having a yard has been our lifesaver. We moved shortly before everything started and man alive its been great to not be in a tiny apartment

  31. I never thought that I could get into reading but i did. My kindle is my new favorite thing ever! Love the cozy trend that was also the best thing that happened through this pandemic, learned to cook more as well!

  32. Walking on my treadmill or outside has been one of my favorite things. Also, using the Voxer app to keep in touch with friends was a nice way to stay connected.

  33. Since covid, I’ve really tapped into my creative side and made crafting a regular hobby. I bought a cricut maker last may, and have used it to make all types of things: vinyl stickers, acrylic tags, mask patterns, screen printing templates— you name it. I’ve always been a creative, but it’s been nice to make a designated space in my home in for crafting and take the time to amplify and learn new skills!

  34. Baking, grilling and redecorating our outdoor spaces! We really came to appreciate having functional and relaxing spaces outside. Plus making some delicious meals and treats to enjoy 😊

  35. Outside play has become essential to our family life! Hikes, visiting new parks, even just a walk around the neighborhood improves all of our moods whenever we’re feeling down.

  36. Adding fun and unique touches to my home to make it more joyful has been so much fun this year!

  37. I began creating with polymer clay; I opened an Etsy shop and started selling at my city’s farmers & artisan markets. Plus puzzles and more time outside.

  38. Puzzles, new sliding doors for our make shift office space, and a bunch of DIY projects around the house! Just about ready to put the finishing touches on a husband-made entertainment center complete with an electric fireplace 😍 just in time for summer and warm weather! 😂

  39. I started reading chapter books to my kids now that they’re old enough to remember where we left off.

  40. The time at home gave me more time to do all the home improvements I had been wanting to do! Looking back, I made lots of improvements in a pretty short period of time. I did some much needed gardening, grew and killed grass, planted flowers and plants galore. I limewashed my house (with the help of my dad) which was my favorite project and made the biggest difference! We enjoyed our first above ground pool with all of our time home. In the house, I changed out light fixtures, painted, sold lots of decor and redecorated some, giving it a fresh feel!

    I also got into puzzles, read the biggest book ever, and tried online dating (wasn’t for me)

    I definitely got into the Alexa and smart home craze! My Alexa home group was playing during everyone of these projects!

    I took complete advantage of being home with lots of time on my hands! I will always remember my home as before COVID and after!

  41. Plants have definitely made their debut into my home over the past year. I am thankful for them because they have given me a reason to be productive throughout this quarantined year. They also added a lot of beauty to my home.

  42. So glad we survived it!
    I started a bead jewelry business and they kept me through, also lots of backyard time! Gardening and playing games(:

  43. During lockdown, my now fiancé proposed and sold our house! We just purchased a new home that we move into in June. Super excited to decorate! 🙂

    I’ve also gotten more in touch with my hobbies- reading, painting, playing w my dogs, etc.

  44. I’ve learned to appreciate all of the natural light in my home!!! Being indoors so often is hard, sitting by a sunny window helps. We also enjoy having pleasant music or nature sounds playing throughout the day on our Alexa systems “everywhere” setting ❤️

  45. So many things! Trying new recipes while baking with my kids, new outdoor living spaces that we’ve put together, the workout equipment we bought to do it at home, paint- we’ve repainted so many rooms! 😁 I’ve come to appreciate the times we do have all together at home even more!!

  46. Learned to really appreciate our front porch and our back patio. Upgraded both during Pandemic and use them so much more than before.

  47. We have tried to take more walks and my husband learned to like puzzling with me. We have broadened our tv shows and movie horizons for sure and definitely tackled some house project too! I really can’t complain too much, I have enjoyed some of our new activities! Also, I’m not going to lie I love the new fashion tends of luxury loungewear.

  48. Puzzles (in a box and on my iPad), board games, learning to knit, trying new recipes, container gardening, and increasing my house plant collection were all things I did during the pandemic. Learning to play games with my family via zoom was a hit. Had a talent show for part of our Christmas zoom session. I love to read and read even more than normal. Thankful I already had three library cards connected to my iPad to check out books, magazines and videos.

  49. My mom moved in with my family during quarantine since we were fortunate to be able to work remotely. It was great to spend time together and teach her how to binge watch Netflix!

  50. We have always loved family dinner time and I make most of our meals, but we kicked it up a notch and make so much more from scratch… broth, soups, bread and more. We learned new recipes and realized most of us (myself and our 3 daughters, hubby not so much) are all stress bakers. So regular walks were also necessary for our waistlines but also our mental health!

  51. Movie nights with my kids has been our favorite thing to look forward to! I introduced them to all my childhood John Hughes favorites!

  52. We bought our first home last summer, so pandemic owning is the only thing we know! We are using our quarantine time to renovate BIG things instead of hiring out. Always learning!

  53. Wine.
    Home organization.
    Trying to find a website designer.
    Wine.
    Puzzles.
    Family Adventure Book activities.
    Still looking for website designer.
    Wine.
    Walking the dog.
    Planting things then killing them.
    Therapy.
    Going back to school for an advanced degree.
    WINE.

  54. Pandemic must have for me: Puzzles, books, new recipes to try, Netflix, journal to write about life, and my cat Uno, among many other things.

  55. I definitely had a lot of time all to myself, so I took the time to give my kitchen a mini facelift, & while working on that I started listening to audiobooks, & I am now obsessed! I also got into doing puzzles, which has been fun & challenging.
    I did actually have more time to spend with my honey, so that was the best “gift” of the pandemic. ☺️

  56. Both of our Bidets! When everyone started to freak out about toilet paper we went ahead and ordered 2 Bidets off of Amazon and now we can’t live without them!!!

  57. Honestly dinning in has become more often and house projects since nothing better to do then be at home!

  58. Lots of walks and hikes in the metro parks and also mastering sourdough bread. But as an RN I was also very busy at work with covid pts.

  59. I’m a Red Cross volunteer and blood donor. During the shutdown I volunteered at a LOT more blood drives and also started donating plasma as well as whole blood. I loaded up the kindle and read tons of books while I was there

  60. Organizers, crafts to do with the kids, and puzzles. We all 3 years old on up love tackling puzzles together.

  61. Loved cooking at home and spending time
    Reading and crocheting, just spending time with my husband (who recent retired) after years of working so hard has been a blessing

  62. I’ve appreciated all the time I put into making my in law grandparents house something I can call my home. I think my husband doesn’t freak out anymore when I haul out the paint brushes either!

  63. Long neglected yard work!!! I started sourdough (thanks to cousin who shared) and that has been fun!! Its a science for sure and super scary but once you get going it’s super easy!! You know your doing good when you start giving tips on how to make it even better!!!

  64. Being a Farmer and being able to still be outside working to grow food and fuel for all of us.

  65. We bought a home as we were in a rented condo with no balcony or outdoor access… this resulted in home projects!!!! My poor husband 😂 but we made it through by working together to renovate the guest bathroom, updating the master bath, and updating the front room! Now on to the yard to keep us focused on improving this safe space that we call home!

  66. We setup a home gym outside. We could workout in the backyard. The fresh air and movement really saved us from the quarantine blues.

  67. Being able to shop for all my elderly neighbors or anyone afraid or hesitant to go out. What a great way to get to know my neighbors.

    They always knew I was nearby by my laughter since I was always chatting with everyone . At first I thought it was bad..thinking I was loud and nosy..not realizing I was bringing joy and smiles in an unknown time.

  68. Home renovations- painting, learning to install wood floors. Things like that have gotten me through

  69. We put in a backyard patio and can’t wait to enjoy it this summer while eating homegrown veggies in the garden going in this spring 🔨 🪴

  70. We had our first baby at the beginning of lockdown so the fact that we are coming up on a first birthday in the same pandemic is crazy. But she kept us busy. I’m so glad we invested in a stroller system that’s easy to handle because afternoon walks have been life-giving.

  71. Shipt. Lol! Saved me from the grocery during the shutdown and It’s ruined me forever. Snow? Shipt! Rain? Shipt! Busy? Shipt. 😂 I’ll never go back.

  72. So grateful for our new baby girl! Becoming parents was challenging during this time, but we have had so much to look forward to and extra time together to treasure. We’ve also enjoyed adapting our house to better meet our needs.

  73. Knitting, playing with dogs, purchased an investment property that we gutted and totally renovated and some hiking.

  74. A new baby, a new church building that we poured our hearts and souls into and deepened connections with family and friends have gotten us through the wild ride of 2020. We had some precious getaways as a family to new places and also celebrated the wedding of close friends.

  75. We walked outside almost every morning even twice a day, something that all of is definitely took for granted. I gave birth to my second child September 2019 so spending time with my family was very special and wow what a time to be alive! Our best purchase I would say is our deep fryer and baking equipments my 12 year old daughter learned to cook & bake during the quarantine. I think the positive side to being “stuck in the house” was that we spent much needed quality time with loved ones.

  76. We got a puppy during the pandemic that has brought our family so much joy! I’m not sure how we would have gotten through this without her!

  77. Projects around the house.. finished our basement so kids had somewhere new to play this winter with nothing open!

  78. Over quarantine, I became a plant mom to what started out as a few succulents to now 20+ plants. 🙈 I work as an ICU nurse and it was comforting to see something flourish and survive in my home compared to all the sorrow I was experiencing in my work place.

  79. Free weights, jump rope, med ball and sliders. 🤣 I really missed my gym if you can’t tell.

  80. Lots of baking, crocheting, card games, kindle unlimited, and audio books this year! Lots of time outside on the trampoline and basketball goal we bought because of Covid!

  81. We moved across the country to be closer to family and are building a house! Many hard days led to a hopeful exciting outcome!

  82. Something that was great for us this past year is plants! Learning about and growing our own food and plants has been fun! Trial and error. Lots of new gardening tools! Fun photos. We start our corn again soon! This time we’re blocking the dogs out of the garden area! They ate it all last year! Lol

  83. I’m
    Simplifying. Keeping meaningful pieces and releasing the rest. If I need to replace I’m buying quality. We spend more time listening to one another and less on technology. Focusing on creating an environment that nourishes growth while offering rest!

  84. Learning to take life at a slower pace and taking time to mediate. Understanding real priorities and appreciate the time we have been given.

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