Odd News Show

4 Years Later: 5 Non-Political Things We Learned About Ourselves Since Covid

It’s been four years since Covid hit America full force. Here are five completely non-political things it taught us about what kind of people we actually are.

By Jason Salmon · March 19, 2024

Your calculator is filthy, Diane Unsplash/Towfiqu Barbhuiya

Four years ago this week, Covid had just arrived on America’s shores and all of us were having to figure out not only what was happening, but what we could do. Things were weird.

But now that things have gotten back to normal and we’ve had a few years to assess, here are some things I think we all found out about ourselves:

We respond better to monsters than to math

Those first Covid variants were the scariest. Delta and Omicron not only ravaged the country but also sounded like military maneuvers and movie monsters. I don’t recall the name of the first variant, but I think it was in Greek, and foreign languages are also inherently scary. But after that, scientists began naming variants with simple number/letter combos and suddenly nobody seemed to care. Remember variant BA1-5? None of us do.

Microscopic Photo of The Omicron Variant  Unsplash/Bruno Guerrero

Fortunately those strains continued to weaken and we have mostly moved past the virus, but if another strain or another virus comes along that is more dangerous, we have definitely learned a lesson - name any future dangerous variant after something scary, like Spiders or Emotional Honesty.

We are not good at cleanliness or safety

Remember when the virus initially hit and we didn’t know exactly how it spread and we started bleaching packages and scrubbing produce while continuing to wear the same nasty shirt for a full week straight? Whether people were wearing masks alone in their car, pulling them down to sneeze, or decided to stop drinking Corona beer (maybe because they thought the virus had gotten strong enough to acquire a sponsorship), we were not that well equipped for survival.

This feels safe  Unsplash/Matthew Henry

We get bored easily

We were told to wash our hands for twenty seconds. We couldn’t do it. We needed more guidance. We were told to sing Happy Birthday twice. We did that for a while. For some of us, it even ruined our birthday… twice. But then we needed even more. We found choruses of songs that would last long enough for us to get our hands clean. But then most of us continued to wash our hands for only 10-12 seconds of that chorus.

Ten seconds of this and I'm out  Unsplash/Melissa Jeanty

We love watching people who make us look reasonable

I'm not being unreasonable. You're being unreasonable  Unsplash/Julien L Sirw

Whether it was Tiger King or a viral video of any person throwing merchandise at a salesperson, watching people do absurd things gave us the comfort of something to judge while we made our Vodka and Cocoa Puff breakfast smoothie.

We now know what our breath smells like

This is not what I meant when I resolved to be more self aware in 2020  Unsplash/Lukas Souza

Wearing a mask was a good way to be self aware. Specifically self aware about our breath. Forget waiting an hour after eating before going swimming. Never eat onions before flying - that’s the rule we now live by.

Four years later, we are different people. Not better - just different.