A year ago, the phrase “Oh no, I forgot my mask!” would be crazy to say, and most of us had never heard of Zoom, let alone attended a class using it. But life has changed pretty drastically in 2020 thanks to COVID-19.
In March 2020, we were confused as quarantine first started. College students didn’t return from spring break, most jobs closed or began working from home, and only essential businesses remained open. It was a time of uncertainty for everyone.
Students’ jobs were affected, too. Ashlyn Voetberg works at the Starbucks located inside Price Chopper, which increased in business.
“All the other Starbucks in town closed, so the one at Price Chopper was extremely busy. Plus, we had new sanitizing procedures and had put up the barriers in front of the cash register,” Voetberg said.
But while many businesses were struggling, one platform grew like wildfire: TikTok.
TikTok was popular before COVID-19 but grew in popularity as more people stayed home with less to do. The app allowed people to connect, from recreating trendy dances, to telling stories and sharing recipes.
Many people remember the stages of quarantine based on TikTok trends. In April, people binge-watched Tiger King on Netflix, made whipped coffee, started at-home workouts, crafted, and baked bread. Then came political turmoil with Black Lives Matter protests and TikTok users trolling Trump rallies. But then trends lightened again as people needed a distraction from the world, such as playing Animal Crossing and dancing to WAP, which had just come out.
Gabriella Higgins is a sophomore at Missouri Western and not only did she, but her entire family created TikTok’s during quarantine.
“The whole family would do TikTok’s just for the fun of it. It was a very interesting thing to be a part of,” Higgins said.
While normal life seemed far from reach, people made the best of it. Being at home allowed people to spend more time with their families.
“I think quarantine was needed for everyone,” Higgins said. “I think it showed us how easily our lives can be changed, and we should be thankful for the freedoms we have. Also, my family got a lot closer. Everyone is getting older and on the journey of our new lives, so we hadn’t been spending much time together. I’m thankful for that.”
Lynzi Miller, a junior at Missouri Western, mentions that not only did she get to see more of her family, being at home also made her realize what she took for granted.
“Moving back home made me much closer with my family partially because my mom was my boss and I worked with a bunch of my relatives. It also made me realize that I took a bunch of stuff for granted like being able to practice and run track with my team at college,” Miller said.
Overall, during a crazy time in our lives, people made the best of it. While COVID-19 is a horrible thing, being in quarantine did allow people to experience some positives in their life such as trying something new, having more time, or seeing more of their family. It was a change in daily life for all.