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10 people share what they did immediately after realizing COVID was shutting the whole world down

The lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic was a time that was new for all. Here, some individuals recall the dreadful time when their world came to a standstill.

10 people share what they did immediately after realizing COVID was shutting the whole world down
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | cottonbro studio

The pandemic was about to get worse and people weren't ready. 

Representational Image Source: Pexels | CDC
Representative Image Source: Pexels | CDC

The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the handful of instances in human history when the whole world came to a standstill. People lost their jobs, businesses collapsed, shortages of amenities arose and the healthcare sector faced the worst kind of breakdown. The outbreak, which was first reported in China's Wuhan in December 2019, soon led the world to go into a lockdown. Scientists were under pressure to create vaccines to combat the new virus whereas commoners were instructed to maintain social distancing in order to stop the virus from spreading. Masks were made mandatory for public places and working from home plus online schools became a norm. But do we remember what we were doing when we realized that the pandemic was about to get much worse? u/admaher2 asked the Reddit community to share what they were doing the moment they realized that the world was about to shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are the top 10 responses from people who shared chapters from their personal experiences from the dreadful time. 

1. Empty gyms

Representational Image Source: Pexels | William Choquette
Representative Image Source: Pexels | William Choquette

I don't watch the news so I didn't realize how bad it was getting. I remember being at the gym in the locker room and I thought it was odd that there was literally no one else there. I took a picture (there are signs everywhere that say 'No Phones') and then I stopped going for more than two years. u/Overslept99

2. Warnings at a concert

Representational Image Source: Pexels | Wendy Wei
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Wendy Wei

I was at a KISS show in Los Angeles, Paul Stanley told everyone to be good to one another because of some 'bug moving around' during the encore. They canceled all their shows the next day and I started getting emails from the city about things shutting down. It was around March 8, 2020. u/ClumsyUnicorn69

3. Restaurants only delivered take-outs

Representational Image Source: Pexels | Mikhail Nilov
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Mikhail Nilov

My boss called an emergency meeting 3 days before the shutdown. We’re in the restaurant industry. He told us he thinks we will likely be takeout only. He was watching what was happening in Europe and assumed we were next. We made lunches for kids who would have received lunches through a program at school. Anyone could call the restaurant and say they need a lunch and we would prep it a day before so it was ready for them to pick up for lunch. This gave kids lunches and helped families but it also gave our staff a shift so they could make money. It was such a crazy time. I’m so grateful for the company I work with. It was a scary time but seeing our team look out for each other was so cool. u/champagnemaar

4. Nobody in sight

Representational Image Source: Pexels | Luiz Fernando
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Luiz Fernando

Empty outdoors. I know that was a moment of dissociation for me. It was somewhat after the shutdown. I just went to take a walk at night because one has surprisingly much time if they can't do anything (apart from WFH). No. One. Out. I had seen the scenery every night and day hour. Someone was always out earlier. I realized how surreal it was. And I realized I was dissociating hard from it - this and all of it. u/deterministic_lynx

5. Healthcare workers witnessed the horrors

Representational Image Source: Pexels | Laura James
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Laura James

Being a nurse was the worst at that time. Visitors weren't allowed, not even when a patient was dying and so many died alone, or, if they were lucky, with a complete stranger holding their hand, if the nurses even had time for that. Nursing homes (which usually relied on at least some family members coming over and helping with feeding/dressing the inhabitants as well as keeping them occupied/entertained) were hopelessly overworked and could not do justice to the needs of anybody. Nobody had enough PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), and nurses constantly had to knowingly endanger their own health. u/wischmopp

6. Toilet paper scarcity

Representational Image Source: Pexels | Anna Shvets
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Anna Shvets

Went to Costco to grab toilet paper and the crowd was downright rabid. There was a line that snaked around the entire store but there was no toilet paper left on the warehouse floor. They were bringing out forklifts with pallets of TP and yelling at people to stay back for their safety, but people were running up to the forklifts in a panic and ripping the packages of TP off before the pallets hit the ground. Same thing with 50lb bags of rice. It was at that moment that I knew it was about to get wild. u/FelineOverlord

7. Work-from-home era began

Representational Image Source: Pexels |  olia danilevich
Representative Image Source: Pexels | olia danilevich

This was actually quite a transitional moment for online communication that we tend to forget about. It's surprising how far we've come in our expectations of online meetings. I was already in a remote team and used to working with Teams/Zoom. Yet, bringing on the rest of the company was hugely painful. For the initial few months following COVID, most online meetings would start with time spent diagnosing audio/visual problems for the less tech-savvy people. The cumulative time wasted by people using meeting time to diagnose their IT issues must be astronomical. u/Consistent-Year8707

8. Not having proper funeral services

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Brett Sayles
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Brett Sayles

I lost my mom on March 10, 2020 (non-covid related). COVID shutdown happened approximately 10 days later which made it extremely difficult to properly plan and hold her funeral. We were only allowed to have 10 guests and amenities were very limited. We had a much larger celebration of life later on, but this destroyed me for a long while. I still feel like she never had the service she deserved. I’m sorry Mom. u/Gr1ml0ck

9. Selling away businesses

Representative Image Source: Pixabay | Claudia Peters
Representative Image Source: Pixabay | Claudia Peters

I once was seated next to two elderly couples at a restaurant, in early 2021, outdoor patio seating. One of the couples asked the other about their family restaurant. The lady answered, "Oh, we sold that and retired back in December of 2019." I thought: "These have got to be the two luckiest old people on earth." Another three months and their whole retirement would have been completely hosed. u/p0k3t0

10. Empty grocery stores

 Representational Image Source: Pexels | Anna Shvets
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Anna Shvets

I went to the grocery store to buy the "two weeks" worth of groceries so that my family could shelter in place. When I walked into the grocery store the aisles were packed with people and the shelves were bare. I don't live in a hurricane zone, so I had never seen bare grocery shelves like that. It was very disconcerting. Luckily I was able to find enough food, eventually. The moment I saw the inside of that grocery store was the moment that the pandemic started for me. u/FelineOverlord

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