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    "I Regret Not Moving": People Are Sharing The "Regrettable" Early Pandemic Decisions That Still Haunt Them To This Day

    "Honestly, I became a little too comfortable with lockdown and social isolation. I know that social contact is crucial, though I find myself a little socially disoriented now."

    I recently wrote about the early pandemic decisions that turned out to be colossal mistakes, and it turns out hindsight is eating away at so many more people than I'd originally thought. Y'all chimed in with your own choices made in 2020 or right before lockdown that still stir up regret — and in a few instances, the decisions that some folks should be regretting, even if they're not:

    1. "Not making payments on student loans while it was frozen and not collecting interest. To be fair, I was only making $12.50 an hour at the time, and I did pay off one federal loan, but if I'd been putting $100 a month on my lowest private loan, it'd be so much lower than it is right now."

    2. "I worked online school, and I regret not exercising between classes. I was at my desk so much, without much movement. My muscles turned to mush and have not recovered."

    person on laptop in bed waving at screen

    3. "I regret not moving in 2020. A bunch of the transplants living in New York City moved back to their home states and cities. Landlords were so desperate to fill the vacancies that they slashed rents, gave away free months, etc. But since I worked tech for a global company, I never stopped working. When it came time to renew my lease, the only feasible option was staying another year in my old apartment. By the time the next year came around, when I really needed to move back to my old neighborhood to be close to my ailing mother, the rents were back up. There were no more promos of free months of rent."

    apartment for rent paper postings on street corner in new york

    4. "Medical advice, even if some of it was wrong at the beginning, being turned into a political issue."

    clorox bleach on stove

    5. "I had a 'COVID cat' that someone dumped on the street after adopting her during the 'pet rush.' The cat got pregnant and was scheduled to be euthanized just four weeks before she had her kittens. Luckily, she went to a different shelter, had seven healthy kittens, and lives her best life with one of her kittens who I also adopted. Pets are not toys, and you cannot dump them when you get bored."

    6. "NFTs."

    jimmy fallon holding up a bored ape nft

    7. "I got lip filler right before we started wearing masks."

    kylie jenner wearing a mask

    8. "I wish I would've not spent so much money before COVID and saved for a down payment for a house. I would've gotten it at a good price. I hope to make better spending decisions from now on. Maybe housing prices will go down again."

    modern home for sale

    9. "I regret not playing the stocks."

    10. "I think many people regret moving in with a significant other when it was too early in the relationship. My friend did this with her boyfriend in a new city, far from family and friends. He ended up kicking her out after she got depressed from losing her job during the pandemic."

    11. "I sold my house. I probably should have kept it. It's gone up almost $100,000 in value since I've sold."

    house with sold sign

    12. "Rental car companies sold off the fleets of cars since they sat unused on lots. Now, there’s a shortage of rental cars! You usually can’t book one, and if you are lucky enough to do so but your flight gets in late, you may lose it anyway. Even with a credit card to hold the reservation."

    people waiting outside enterprise rental car

    13. "One word: Peloton."

    (left) person riding peloton (right) clothes on exercise bbike

    14. "Honestly, I became a little too comfortable with lockdown and social isolation. I know that social contact is crucial, though I find myself a little socially disoriented now."

    person looking at outside from indoors

    15. "I had been sober for over eight years before COVID. After the pandemic hit, I was unable to go to regular AA meetings. There were online ones, but they weren’t the same — I had gotten to know people in my group over years, and once the in-person meetings ended, so did a certain level of accountability. I relapsed in a big way and started binge drinking again. I’m happy to say I’m almost one year sober today after getting back on the wagon."

    holding up an alcoholics anonymous three years sobriety chip

    16. "Isn’t it always that we regret not wearing masks? This regret was expressed by so many in the beginning, and in the middle, and no one admits that it's still going on. I was at the emergency room, and in the three hours I was there, I witnessed eight babies and two kids come in with RSV symptoms and such. If you’ve never heard a crying baby with a croupy cough trying to breathe, well, good for you."

    Twitter: @jes_chastain

    "In my opinion, we should all be wearing masks."


    "If you’ve got something, wear a mask. It seems like a no-brainer, but there are so many people out and about coughing open-mouthed like preschoolers all over stores and restaurants. If you feel sick or someone in your house is sick and you can’t keep yourself at home, then yes, please wear the damn mask. Knowingly exposing others to your nasty germs is such asshole behavior."


    17. "Letting my STBX, or soon-to-be-ex, basically keep me hostage from everyone and everything, and gaslighting me into depression."

    couple far apart from each other on bed

    18. "I regret quitting my part-time job in October of 2019 so I could travel more in 2020. Of course, I had no way to predict that things would turn out how they did, but that extra income if I'd stayed at my job would've been so helpful."

    former employee with a box of belongings leaving the former workplace

    19. "My sister sold her house in mid-2020 because someone made a ridiculous offer, and she rented while she 'took her time' house hunting — huge mistake. Now, even with the profit from the sale, she’s priced out of our school district. She will be renting forever if she wants to keep her kids in the same school."

    box of toys

    20. "I wish I had gotten a nose job, to be honest."

    guy wearing mask

    21. "I started smoking more during the pandemic, purely from boredom. I did a dumb thing by smoking every day of April 2020 and now, after almost three years, it's a bad habit. I feel like I have to smoke before bed just to sleep, resulting in a high tolerance that isn't enjoyable to me."

    22. "In Australia, a lot of people took out their superannuation, a government-supported retirement fund. It was a big mistake for so many."

    broken piggy bank

    23. "I started occupational therapy school in January 2020, and my school went virtual for basically the rest of the program. I got none of the resources promised, no tuition reimbursement for not getting said resources, and part of my fieldwork, which should’ve consisted of me going to clinics and interacting with real patients, was over Zoom where I watched my professors interact with them. I got no hands-on experience, and as a new grad, it shows. If I had started grad school right after undergrad instead of taking a year to get work experience, I could have avoided that."

    work station with zoom open

    24. "We tried for a year to have a baby, finally got pregnant, moved into our new home, and bought a car. Once we settled in, the pandemic hit. The world shut down, and it was such a challenge to even buy water. I'm not saying my daughter was a bad decision, but I think we would have waited a lot longer to bring someone into this new world if we'd known what was coming."

    zoom call with families with babies and single friends

    25. "Not subletting my flat. When the pandemic began, I moved in with my partner, and my apartment has stayed empty ever since. I just couldn't deal with it at the time, nor did I want to. I could have made at least three years of rent by now."

    empty apartmet

    26. "The lack of road maintenance really pissed off a lot of people in the UK. I live in a tourist area, and most of the local businesses rely on the summer sales to see them through the winter. Our local council decided the minute things opened up again was the time to start doing all the work they'd postponed — the roads were clogged up even more than usual! Every main road in and out had temporary traffic lights on. There were traffic jams for the whole summer."

    Cars driving on a road

    27. And finally, "My biggest regret is not buying the 12-foot skeleton at Home Depot when it was available online."

    Home Depot's singular positive mark on American society is thanks to the unknown hero on some product committee who was like "the people don't know what they want, we will show them" and then gifted us the 12 ft tall skeleton. Happy enormous skeleton season to all who celebrate.

    Twitter: @jenni_tabler

    What early pandemic decisions did you make that you'd do differently, considering what you know now? Share your hindsight insights in the comments.

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