February 7, 2021

Lauren Galli

Galli Gripes: Ten Things I Learned From The Pandemic


How many times have you used the phrase “I am so bored” over the past year? As we round out almost a year of worldwide pandemic panic, things we once loved to do have grown tedious and tiresome. I do not think anyone in the United States (or the world) accurately anticipated what life would be like amid COVID.

Yet here we are. We are a year into this new normal, and it does not look as though we are quite on track to anything resembling our old normal—NOT YET. How many miles are there to go before we…unmask?

I have grown tired of the four walls of my house, and the pandemic has had a profound effect on my life. I’ve learned much, and I want to share some of my newfound knowledge and observations.

10 Things Living in a Pandemic Has Taught Me

  1. I Cannot Read Enough – I have been a voracious reader for the entirety of my life, but adulthood has often gotten in the way of parking myself in a comfortable chair with a great book. The pandemic has changed that, giving me more time to re-discover my literary friends.
  2. I Can Bake! – Cooking has always been a respite for me. Pre-pandemic, hosting dinner parties usually meant I would draw up an overzealous menu and be too exhausted to enjoy my company later. However, the virus crisis forced me to open new doors. I have always said I could not bake if my life depended upon it, but I have discovered I am actually quite good at it. Better yet, I enjoy it.
  3. I Need People – Thank goodness for Zoom. As a self-proclaimed loner, I was surprised to find myself going off the rails about three weeks into county-wide lockdown. I discovered rather quickly that I do require human interaction.
  4. Streaming is Key – What would we have done during this quarantine situation without Netflix and Hulu? I dipped my toe into some shows I did not think I would enjoy and broadened my horizons rapidly. Ozark for the win!
  5. Nostalgia is Fun – Speaking of Netflix, can we talk about Cobra Kai? Did the reappearance of Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence take anyone else the whole way back to the 80s? This show inspired me to organize old photos, reconsider hobbies long forgotten, and reminisce with friends about Jams and ESPRIT.
  6. The Thirst for Knowledge is REAL! – I have always been a documentary aficionado, but increased threats of getting sick took that to a whole different level. I found myself enjoying docs about everything from the Vietnam War to the music business.
  7. Sleep Is Really Good for You – I have called myself “a permanently exhausted pigeon” for many years. I used to thrive on four solid hours of sleep per night. However, during quarantine, I forced myself to sleep for seven hours per night. You know what I discovered? It made me feel SO much better.
  8. I Am a Packrat –While on lockdown, I dedicated myself to purging unwanted and unused items from my house. I went room by room and got rid of so much stuff. I found out that while I may not be a prime candidate as a featured guest on Hoarders anytime soon, I am a bit of a packrat. Does anyone need fourteen journals? No.
  9. Music Rules – When it comes to musical taste, mine has always been eclectic. I listen to, literally, everything. During my purging, cooking, reading, and baking escapades, music became a necessity. Cleverly written lyrics and exquisite melodies created the soundtrack to my life during these times.
  10. We Are All Stronger Than We Imagined – I lament the lost lives, both from the virus itself and the quarantine, during the pandemic. Not everyone was fortunate enough to survive mental health crises, addictions, or relationships while on lockdown, and my heart goes out to them. I doubt any of us will ever be the same, but we are coming out stronger and more resilient on the other side.

Better—and Brighter—Days Are Ahead

Last year and the beginning of this one have been dismal. I encourage people to find hope and help by digging deeply into understanding themselves during times like this. Find out who you are, what you like, and what means something to you. We have heard “it is always darkest before the dawn” a million times. Well, dawn is coming. A new day awaits. Keep fighting the good fight—and share how you are getting through it all in the comments below.

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