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    16 Things From The First Year Of The Pandemic That You Probably Forgot About

    We've all abandoned our Animal Crossing islands, right?

    We're two years into this pandemic, and weirdly enough, I've started seeing people get nostalgic for ye olde days of 2020.

    So, now that we've reached our two-year anniversary of our lives being changed by COVID-19, I thought it might be interesting to look back at a few key moments, memories, and shared experiences from 2020 that will always remind me of the first year of the pandemic.

    1. Drive-By-Celebrations became incredibly popular during the summer of 2020, especially for high school and college graduates who were unable to celebrate in person. Some schools also honored students with a "Drive-Through graduation" where graduates drove down in a kind of parade with a few socially distanced stops where they could receive their diploma.

    Right: A boy wearing a mask holds up a "Contrats Cheyenne" poster while standing out of a car roof

    2. Amidst a sea of new hobbies that we took up during the first lockdown, bread baking reigned so supremely that it actually led to a flour shortage in grocery stores. Baking your own bread was simple, relaxing, and it made us feel like we had a sense of control in our lives, and in 2020, who could ask for more?

    Woman kneading bread dough on a countertop

    3. In its first month, Tiger King was watched by over 64 million households and quickly became a fixation for lots of people during the first lockdown. Since its original premiere, this show has added two seasons, with a fictionalized series premiering on Peacock based on the second season of a Wondery podcast.

    Top: Joe Exotic poses next to a tiger in "Tiger King" Bottom: Carole Baskin kneels beside a lion in a cage outside in "Tiger King"

    4. You also might remember in the first month or two of the pandemic when your inbox was absolutely flooded with emails from every business website you subscribed to telling you about their response to COVID-19. Listen, was it reassuring to hear that companies were taking steps to ensure everyone's safety? Yes. But was it also panic-inducing to get one million emails a day from a company whose email list you can't even remember subscribing to, now talking to you about these "uncertain times"? Also yes.

    An email from Chipotle discussing COVID-19

    Corona has really made me realize.. how many corporate emails I need to unsubscribe from.

    Twitter: @KaceyMusgraves

    I understand this is serious but I probably don’t need an email from every company I’ve ever bought anything from in my entire life. #coronavirus

    Twitter: @JimmyNeesh

    5. The first month of the pandemic also meant that a bunch of people had to learn how to properly wash our hands, so every organization had to make a how-to video to remind us.

    Someone washes their hands in the sink with an annotation that reads "Don't forget your wrists"

    .@drsanjaygupta provides a hand-washing tutorial, including the importance of interlacing your fingers and also washing the back of your hands. https://t.co/SKKTecRe1d

    Twitter: @CNN

    6. One memory that still sticks out in my brain during those first few months is seeing all of those eerie photos of typically populated places now completely deserted.

    A photo overlooking an empty Disney World Magic Kingdom
    A view of eerily quiet and empty Times Square amid COVID-19
    General view of the empty Alma bridge, in front of the Eiffel tower during COVID-19
    Empty Grand Central Station

    7. The first lockdown also left us with a lot more free time to try out new things, which is probably why so many people became obsessed with whipped, aka dalgona coffee.

    A spoon pulls out of a glass of whipped coffee

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    8. Remember when all of the movie theaters closed, and every movie you had spent the last year waiting patiently for had to postpone its premiere date? It's crazy that we had all never been home so long, yet we had nothing to watch. Trolls World Tour, which was originally set for a theatrical-only release, was instead released simultaneously on video on demand. The move was a success and set a precedent for other films to follow suit.

    A poster for Trolls World Tour

    9. The highlight of your day during the first lockdown was your silly little walk around the neighborhood, don't lie. If there's a silver lining about the beginning of the pandemic, it's that it started in spring, which means that instead of losing our minds inside of our apartment, we were also able to mix it up and lose our minds outside in the warm weather, too.

    A group of people walk together down a path in a park

    10. Another weird early pandemic memory is Vanessa Hudgens saying that she "respects" the virus in her Instagram Live before offering this truly terrible take:

    Top: Vanessa Hudgens says "Yeah, people are going to die, which is terrible, but like, inevitable?" Bottom: Vanessa Hudgens says "I don't know, maybe I shouldn't be doing this right now."

    11. In the midst of people stockpiling hand sanitizer and furious hand-washing, you might also remember that it was recommended early on during the pandemic to disinfect products like packages and groceries that could have had a higher risk of exposure to the virus. As we learned more about the virus, it was concluded that was unnecessary, but I'll never forget running a Lysol wipe down my Doritos bag and going, "I guess this is my life now."

    Man wearing protective gloves and cleaning canned food with wet wipes

    12. In the face of the pandemic, a lot of people also found comfort in the interests they had as a child, which meant a newfound interest in activities like puzzles and adult coloring books.

    Young woman coloring in an adult coloring in book

    13. No matter where you were, your 7 p.m. was punctuated by the sound of pots and pans banging together and cheers as neighborhoods opened their windows to celebrate frontline workers. People also took to their balconies to play music and sing together, a sweet reminder that we're never actually alone no matter how we may feel.

    A "Thank You Sign" is shown through windows of a building as people look out the window and applaud

    14. The wait for the new Animal Crossing game was a long time coming, so it makes sense that it became an obsession for a lot of people during the beginning of the pandemic. It also provided the perfect escape: The world was falling apart around us, and we were able to go off and build our own.

    A person plays Animal Crossing on Nintendo Switch

    15. When Broadway closed down in March and it seemed like we wouldn't get to enjoy a musical for a long time, TikTok did the next best thing and gave us a brand new, virtual musical based on the Pixar film, Ratatouille. What began as a fun production of hypothetical songs from a series of TikTok users quickly turned into an entire production, starring performers like Tituss Burgess, Wayne Brady, and André De Shields.

    A poster that reads "Ratatouille The Musical" with vegetable slices on a fork in the shape of a rat

    16. Hey, at what point during the beginning of the pandemic did you go, 'I wonder what Gal Gadot's doing about this?' Never? Did you say never? Yeah, we all did, but that didn't stop her and over a dozen other celebrities staring into the camera while singing "Imagine" to try and comfort us during the first lockdown.

    The video was...not well received

    No politician can unify people in the way that the “Imagine” video seems to have united every single person against it.

    Twitter: @joshgondelman

    Since then, Gal Gadot has spoken about the video and its backlash and later said that the video was "in poor taste."