As much as the phrase annoys the crap out of me, the earlier phase of the coronavirus pandemic was undeniably "unprecedented times." Unfortunately, not all decisions that were made during this time were the best.
I was reminded of our collective missteps when redditor u/PM_ME_URFOOD asked the internet, "In hindsight, what decision made in the pandemic is coming back to bite people in the ass?" And, well...mistakes were made:
1. "The number of people who filed for unemployment who did not actually qualify and are now getting overpayment notices with the 30% penalty fee is wild. I'm talking owing between $20,000 and $36,000 in overpayments."
2. "Deciding not to buy a house right at the beginning."
3. "Not refinancing their mortgages when the rates were at 2.5%."
4. "I remember so many stories about men who had secret families or affairs and lived double lives for years...until lockdowns started. They'd maintained two separate lives under the guise of lengthy 'business trips' for years, and now that everyone had to work from home, the jig was up."
5. "Not letting road crews fix roads in their social bubble."
6. "Encouraging retirement for older employees, especially airline pilots. A big reason there have been so many issues with travel in 2022 is that back during peak pandemic times, a huge chunk of pilots were pushed to retire. Now travel is back at prepandemic highs, and airlines are looking around like, 'Hell...who's gonna fly the planes?'"
7. "Eating as if I never had to eat in front of other people again."
8. "Buying a pet they couldn't afford to keep once the pandemic 'ended.' Lots of animals are in shelters or euthanized because of this."
9. "Putting sick older people in nursing homes with healthy people and keeping them in there."
10. "A bunch of people in my area decided to buy houses in rural areas under the assumption that they'd be working from home forever. Now a lot of workplaces are hybrid or fully back in person, and all those people are stuck with long commutes, while less wealthy people in rural areas are being priced out."
11. "Closing outdoor spaces at the same time as schools. I’m sorry, the park is closed? Hiking trails are closed? National parks are closed? Why?!"
12. "My friend found an aboveground pool on clearance for $199 at Lowe’s right as the pandemic was starting. She texted me that there were several left and I should hurry and go get one. I was too cheap to go buy one. I regretted that decision every day for the next year."
13. "A marked increase in alcoholism."
14. "Not getting household spending under control THE SECOND I was out of a job but still on the hook for an expensive lease. All those new hobbies were fun, though I’d now much rather have savings than rudimentary gardening knowledge."
15. "Owning a pool became extremely expensive during and 'after' the pandemic. A bucket of chlorine tabs that would last all summer used to be $80. They went up to $250 at its peak, if you could even find them. Keeping my outdoor, in-ground pool balanced and algae-free was horrible. I had to use whatever chemicals I could find and order online because everything was out of stock and marked up in price. I ended up moving recently, but I had plans to fill the pool in next year."
16. "I heard a terrifying statistic that domestic abuse reports dropped during COVID-19. It’s terrifying because victims were isolated from their friends and family and trapped with their abuser, so there was no one to report on their behalf."
17. "Not getting adult braces. I never imagined we'd be wearing masks for three years. I could’ve had perfectly straight, pearly teeth by now."
18. "All of those selfish idiots who bought pallets of hand sanitizer and toilet paper to sell at a markup and then were left without sales and still have those pallets in their garages."
What other decisions made earlier in the pandemic are we now paying the consequences for? And what personal decisions did you, your family, or your friends make that have come back to bite you or them in the ass? Let us know in the comments.
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.