"I May Never Wear Normal Pants Again": 19 Permanent Changes People Made To Their Lives As A Result Of The Pandemic

    "We had too many canceled Christmases and gatherings."

    A little while ago, we shared the early-pandemic habits that redditors have held on to. The BuzzFeed commenters chimed in with their own pandemic-era habits; here are 19 rituals they've adopted (or dropped completely — looking at you, underwire bras).

    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity. 

    1. "NO MORE HUGGING!!! I have NEVER enjoyed hugging, but I would always reluctantly do it. Since the pandemic hit, I told every adult in my life that I will no longer participate in hugging. It has been wonderful!"


    "I’m so glad I’m no longer obligated to hug people. I only like to hug people I’m close with or haven’t seen in a while."


    2. "I go for long walks on my own in the countryside. I wasn't allowed to leave my city during the pandemic to see family or a tree or the absence of people everywhere. So now I go out into the fields and country when I can and just walk."


    3. "This is a weird one, but I've gotten really into wearing colorful makeup. I think to myself, Even if it's that badly applied, I'm going out wearing a mask anyway, so all I need are sunglasses and I'm covering half my face."


    An array of lipstick colors

    4. "I can't walk anymore, and my spouse just had his hip replaced, so we are kind of stuck in the house for a long time to come. We have been having grocery stores delivering our groceries directly to our front door. We love it! It is so worth the extra cost for delivery and tip fees. I plan to continue using this service indefinitely."


    5. "I may never wear normal pants again."


    6. "My husband and I used to get together with a group of old college friends maybe twice a year or so for weekends playing Dungeons and Dragons and just hanging out. Then, when the pandemic hit and we weren’t all staying at each other’s house, we tried out the site Roll20. Now we’ve been playing and chatting almost every week since. Planning weekends is tricky, but we can usually spare a few hours a week, so we socialize with them better than ever! It’s been great!"


    Dungeons & Dragons dice

    7. "I love my masks and am not giving them up for love nor money! They’re great when it’s cold, and I feel so much more secure. Other than a brief bout of COVID over the summer, I haven’t been sick once in three years!"


    "Right?! I haven't been sick at all in three years. I can't believe I used to catch the most awful colds at least twice a year and just accepted that as normal. Will gladly keep masking to avoid going through that again (or worse)!" 


    8. "Salad bars. My favorite local, small grocery store chain has an amazing one that I loved prepandemic. I can no longer touch the shared serving utensils, let alone trust the sneeze guard above all the items."


    9. "The only changes: 1) Only bralettes, no more underwire; 2) masks when I'm sick and I have to be in public (buying medicine or food); and 3) I do more art now."


    Paintbrushes and painter's palette

    10. "I still keep 6 feet away from people, even when we’re in conversation at work. And I do curbside grocery pickup. I tried to shop in person this summer and nearly had an anxiety attack when people kept bumping up against me."


    "Same here. I always keep my distance. It's also because I don't miss the feeling of having someone breathing down my neck or coughing in my face." 


    11. "Big hooray for the 'not wearing a bra' one. For the first nine months of lockdown, I would still wear my complete — admittedly casual, but definitely with a bra — work clothes, till one day I was like, 'F*** this shit!' And unless I'm actually going out somewhere, no way. And sometimes, deciding whether I do go out hinges on whether I really want to put up with wearing a bra!"


    12. "I picked up knitting as my quarantine hobby and made a business of it when I lost my job early last year. It's not easy, but with chronic illnesses, I can't see myself working on someone else's time ever again. My time, my schedule."

    "Also, grocery delivery. Even though the stores have gone back to normal, it makes me anxious and annoyed to be around crowds."

    Alex F

    A woman knitting

    13. "No more blowing out the candles on a birthday cake. All I see is the germy cake scene from The Bernie Mac Show."


    14. "I used to be much more perfunctory about handwashing when there was no visible dirt; I'd use plenty of soap and water, but I'd just rub my hands together for a few seconds, swipe the main surfaces, then rinse off. But during the pandemic, I learned the full hand-wash protocol (including making sure you cover backs of hands, between fingers, the very tips of your fingers, wrists, etc., plus washing for sufficient duration), and I'm still routinely doing that every time."


    15. "I haven’t been to a hairdresser or movie theater since the pandemic. I cut my own hair in front of the bathroom mirror and waited for movies to come out on Disney+. But I’m going to see Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on Saturday!"


    Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright standing by a car

    16. "Paying contactless using my phone. Started it during the height of the pandemic for hygiene reasons (didn't want to pass on my essential-warehouse-worker germs to the lovely old people in the store) and just continued because it's so much faster and more convenient."


    17. "Not getting your hopes up for an event, or daydreaming about it until it happens, so as not to be disappointed. We had too many canceled Christmases and gatherings."


    18. "After months of thinking and doubting, my boyfriend and I decided to adopt a rescue dog. I wanted a dog long before the pandemic hit, but since we were both working full time, we didn't have time for it. Now I work from home four days a week, and between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., I take her for a long walk and meet the same people every day, and our dogs can play together. It's good for me that I go outside and get fresh air and even some exercise, and my dog is very happy when she can play with her friends. After the walk, I feel more energetic to get along with my day, and my dog is content and sleeping."


    Two people standing together as their leashed dogs inspect each other

    19. And finally, this rubber clog enthusiast: "I always thought Crocs were super ugly, but I got a pair to wear when the pandemic first hit because they're easy to clean or hose down with sanitizer. Two and a half years later, and I now own about 25 pairs and counting. I may never go back to real shoes."