Ahhhh…quarantine. Normally, being cooped up inside for more than a day or two is enough to make a person go stir crazy. As we reach the three-month mark for stay-at-home restrictions in the DMV, most of us are beyond ready to get back to some sense of normality. For some of us who live alone, we might be craving more human interaction. For those stuck at home with multiple family members, you may be feeling claustrophobic. Despite the unfortunate conditions, I have observed some behaviors that seem to have emerged as a silver lining to the confinements imposed due to this contagious pandemic. Many people have been getting extremely creative with their use of time and resources, and, in particular, families stuck home together appear to be rediscovering some nostalgic ways to pass the time.
Pre-Pandemic Life in America
Pre-pandemic, I could not tell you what my neighbor kids looked like. I did not even know if there were still any kids in the neighborhood and just assumed they had all grown up. One can only assume the children were busy with school, homework, and a slew of all-consuming activities, from sports to clubs, etc. Off days were likely spent catching up with the latest trend or playing the latest video game. Parents seemed equally busy, often at work long hours and not up for discussion upon returning home. This was what family life had become for too many Americans, a sheltered world of looking out for oneself. While I cannot speak for every family, as my own was fortunate to enjoy time together often, for many, family time was a rare treat reserved for special occasions.
Rediscovering Quality Time
Being forced together during the quarantine has brought a new light to this dim view of family interaction. I can now confirm that there are indeed lots of children of varying ages within my parents’ neighborhood, all suddenly eager to get outside and be a kid again. Nowadays, I see families outside fishing at the lake, riding bikes together, and just enjoying time outdoors while still maintaining safety. When walking my dog around the neighborhood lake before the pandemic, it was rare to pass anyone except occasionally another dog owner. Now, it seems everyone has a similar idea of walking, dog or not. Hopefully, we remember what this feels like after things calm down and enjoy more days together as a family, whatever form that may take.
Pre-pandemic our pantries were stocked with staples we never gave a single thought about, like bread and toilet paper. It was easy to forget how lucky we were to have these things when it was so easy to obtain. Quarantine has flipped things on its head with shelves of certain goods, like toiletries and meat, being barren. Demand has drastically overwhelmed supply as companies struggle to compensate. While the elusive toilet paper is slowly making a come back, based on social media posts and my sister-in-law and mom, it appears many people have gone old-school and started baking their own bread and snacks. I have also heard statistics about more families eating meals and spending time together doing activities such as playing old fashioned board games. It’s as if the pandemic has re-introduced us to those wholesome family fun activities that were lost to many over the last couple of decades of over-scheduled extracurricular activities that too-often restricted family time.
Let Us Keep the Family Fun Going
So cheers to the family dinners, fresh-air time, board games, and baking! That said, we also understand that despite the quality time at home, we are all itching to get back outside our homes and neighborhoods. If you want to keep the good family time vibe going, come check us out. Escape rooms challenge families to get creative in solving puzzles while immersed in a thematic environment. Having a goal while being trapped in one of our escape rooms might be a nice change of pace being trapped at home. We have rooms geared towards every fascination and age group. If the pandemic has left you feeling nostalgic for a simpler time, I recommend our room 1960: History of the Future at our Fairfax location.
Written by Zachary Hullings