Lessons We Learned From The 1st COVID-19 Wave To Get Us Through The 2nd

Invest in the comfiest pants you can find.
Going back into lockdown isn't exactly fun for anyone.
Going back into lockdown isn't exactly fun for anyone.

Like the most depressing “Groundhog Day” ever, several parts of Canada have gone back into lockdown as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.

We started thinking about the first lockdown, and how much has changed since we started this in March. While the second wave will be really hard, at least we’ve learned a little bit about how to get through lockdown.

Here are some of the lessons our editors learned during the first wave of the pandemic, that we’re relying on to get us through the second.

Drinking every night won’t actually help with your stress levels

There’s nothing more understandable than wanting to numb your anxiety with alcohol or food — no judgment, certainly not from this reporter, who’s mostly talking to herself on this point.

But if you’re concerned about your consumption habits, focus on how you felt afterwards. The comfort you get from those extra glasses of wine isn’t lasting, and might even make you feel worse later on. If the approaches you’re taking to handle your anxiety don’t actually lead to less anxiety, maybe it’s time to try something else.

You don’t have to wipe down all of your groceries

Now that we know this step is probably unnecessary, it turns out you can save a lot of time by cutting it out. Just wash your hands.

Using Uber Eats every night to “support local businesses” is way too expensive

Restaurants are struggling, and it’s a great idea to try to support them. But those delivery fees add up fast. Consider making a budget and sticking to a certain amount of takeout/delivery per month — you don’t want to go bankrupt trying to stop a restaurant from going bankrupt.

Yes, this looks delicious, and it's great to support local businesses if you can. But be mindful of your wallet, too.
Yes, this looks delicious, and it's great to support local businesses if you can. But be mindful of your wallet, too.

Invest in comfy pants

There are lots of things in our closets we don’t have much use for these days, like that expensive dress shirt or, really, any form of bra. But one thing that’s getting a ton of use? Comfy pants, of all forms. Sweatpants, joggers, yoga pants, PJ bottoms — all essential. When our comfy pant supply starts to go the way of the toilet paper shortage, that’s when we should start panicking.

Don’t buy more 1,000-piece puzzles than you’re actually going to use

Puzzles have been a big pandemic pastime, and for good reason: they take forever. A thousand pieces is a lot of pieces. Consider waiting until you’re done, or at least almost done, before buying another. If not, you’ll just have a big intimidating pile of 1,000-piece puzzles taunting you as you take a careful route to avoid looking at the first 1,000-piece puzzle that you’re only 80 pieces into.

You need more masks than you think

You’re supposed to wash them after every use, for one thing. But it can also be a good idea to keep a clean mask in every bag or coat pocket, so you always have one on hand. Even if you aren’t going into a grocery store or another business that requires a mask, you’ll might need one to do something as basic as ride public transit or walk into a condo lobby. The more masks, the better.

“Treating yourself” to online shopping because “it’s been a hard week” isn’t sustainable

Yes, it’s a dopamine rush, and tracking that package as it makes your way to you is sometimes the best part of the week. But as tempting as it is, relying on “add to cart” to make it through the pandemic is way too expensive a coping mechanism.

Extra-large pizzas don’t last as long as you think they will

This was a shock and a disappointment to discover.

Don’t buy food you’ll never eat just because it’s canned

In the rush to panic-buy so many people went through in March, many likely opted for non-perishables they were unlikely to ever buy before, but felt a strange obligation to purchase in case we went into underground-bunker mode. As it turns out, just buying the stuff you’ll actually eat is a much more reasonable way to live.

Talk clearly about boundaries with the people you live with

Not everyone living in the same household have the same ideas about what’s safe and what isn’t. Even if you think this goes without saying, trust us: it’s better to over-communicate about this stuff.

It’s OK to say no to Zoom plans, even if you have nothing else to do

To be fair, virtual cocktail hours are likely a lot less common during Lockdown Part 2, given how Zoom-ed out so many of us are. But the fact that you have nowhere else to go and nothing else to do doesn’t mean you have to say yes to every invitation you get. Pretty much everyone will understand if you say you’re suffering from Zoom fatigue.

Go easy on yourself

There isn’t an eloquent way to put this: this whole thing really sucks. If you do resort to less-than-super-healthy coping mechanisms, that’s OK. If you just want to avoid the news for a few days, go for it. If you’re more irritable, that’s natural. Things are hard, and you’re doing your best.