While some states and cities remain firmly locked down, others are beginning to reopen businesses, churches, and entertainment venues. In some families, everyone is stir crazy and eager to get back to normal life. Others have adapted easily to social isolation and plan to re-enter society gradually. Some people are making the most of the time at home. Others are just surviving day by day. 

There is no right or wrong way to cope with this new normal, but there are some things that have made life in the age of pandemic more bearable. In recent months a number of fun and interesting trends have taken hold, and no matter what your plans for the months and weeks ahead, it isn’t too late to jump on one (or like me, all) of these pandemic bandwagons. 

Sourdough Baking 

There’s something immensely comforting about the aroma of bread wafting through the house. The feel of soft dough in my hands is both relaxing and satisfying. And there’s no better feeling than serving my family a loaf of hot, crusty bread that I’ve made from scratch. Maybe the comfort and satisfaction that come from baking are why so many people have acquired or created sourdough starters during these troubled times and why sourdough baking has become all the rage. 

Of course sourdough baking isn’t just fun and delicious, it’s also relatively easy. If you’re interested in jumping on this bandwagon, you can get a starter from a friend who has one, make your own, or even buy one. And the internet abounds with sourdough recipes–everything from chocolate cake to rustic loaves. 

Getting a Pandemic Puppy (or dog or cat or goldfish)

For many people these weeks at home have been the perfect time to buy or adopt a pet. Even with many shelters closed to the public, there has been a huge increase in pet adoptions in recent weeks as families take advantage of the extra time they have to train and acclimate a new pet.  

When my family decided to get a pandemic puppy, we knew this was the right time to find and train the German Shepherd we’ve always wanted. We called breeder after breeder only to be told the same each time. “Sorry, we just rehomed our last puppy.” Eventually, however, we did find the perfect pup for us, and we couldn’t be happier. 

Before adopting or buying a pandemic pet, just remember that eventually we will all be going back to work and to school. That’s no reason not to bring in a new furry family member, but keep in mind the habits your pet develops now (I’m looking at you clingy German Shepherd) might be trouble when you aren’t at home all day. 

Zoom Parties

So far I have Zoomed with my brother and his family, my book club, my college sorority sisters and even some of my fellow I’ve never even met in real life. Each time we have all said the same thing, “Why haven’t we done this before?” Well, before the pandemic, I didn’t even know Zoom was a thing. But now, I can’t imagine life without it. Even once life returns to normal, I hope to take advantage of this technology to stay close to groups of farway family and friends. 

Victory Gardens

Maybe for some people the sudden urge to grow their own food has been inspired by a fear of food shortages or trips to the grocery store. But for most of us it’s about the soothing power of soil, sunshine, and doing for yourself. Whether it is a simple herb pot or a bountiful vegetable patch, people all over the country are digging into this satisfying hobby. 

My family has even started raising chickens, another pandemic trend, while a friend of mine is raising ducks (although perhaps more for adorableness than for eggs).  The point is, that in difficult times, particularly this time that requires us to stay at home, there is something truly comforting about “working the land” and  providing even a small amount of your own food. 

Whipped Coffee

Of all the bandwagons my family has jumped on, this one is the easiest and definitely the sweetest. So quick and delicious, whipped coffee has really helped satisfy our gourmet coffee cravings as we’ve been socially isolated an hour away from our favorite coffee place. 

Binge Watching

Not that millions of Americans, including my family, weren’t already well versed in the art of binge watching, but the pandemic has afforded us the opportunity to finetune our slothy skills, and we’ve loved our nights all piled in front of the TV. 

Of course, the most binge watched show of the pandemic has probably been Tiger King. And soon there will be a scripted version of this bizarre story starring Nicolas Cage. Obviously I am big on bandwagons, but really, haven’t we all suffered enough? 

A Daily Rage Walk

Or is it just me? The truth is, I have actually been quite content, and I’ve absolutely loved having my children at home. But even a homebody like me can get a little stressed–you know, because there is a pandemic going on. So at least once a day, I head out the door to hike off some steam. It’s definitely therapeutic–and if it weren’t for all the bread baking and whipped coffees, I might even have lost a few pounds. 

When I first realized that I would be spending weeks, maybe even months, at home, I had big ideas about all the things I would get done. I can’t say that I’ve actually accomplished much during this time at home, but I have enthusiastically jumped on nearly every pandemic bandwagon, and I’ve been happier for it. What about you? What has helped you cope with pandemic life?

Beige puppy inside car