My quarantine began in Houston, TX for about three weeks, then 10 days in Tallahassee, FL, before finally moving back home to Miami, FL. It was strange to be back home in a city that's supposed to be busy and bustling and crazy 24/7, but being home and being stuck in the house has made me notice a few things. Things won't ever go back to normal once the pandemic is over; instead, it will be a new normal, but I'll always remember the changes and strange things that have happened in quarantine.
1. There are lots of car parades.
There's a parade like every other day in my neighborhood. I know people want to celebrate things and get out of the house, but the caravan of cars is getting overwhelming.
2. Everyone is on social media now.
Remember that friend that said they didn't have any social media? Well, now they do. Tweets are getting millions of likes and retweets because everyone is on social media now. There's not much else to do.
3. There are a lot of new faces in my neighborhood.
I definitely remember most of my neighbors being old people, but suddenly there are a ton of new people in my neighborhood? People I've never seen before are running around the block and walking their dogs and doing physical activity.
4. Gas stations are emptier than usual.
Not that gas stations are hot and happening hangouts, but I don't even have to wait in line to pump gas. It's kind of nice.
5. My local Publix looks like a warzone.
Publix is scary empty. And everyone is wearing masks. The aisles are stripped of toilet paper and baking materials. What the hell is happening?
6. Suddenly, everyone owns a bicycle.
No one owned a bicycle a few months ago. Now, if you try to buy a bike at Walmart or Target, they're sold out. Even the nice bike shops are sold out of bikes. Time to invest in a unicycle.
7. Everyone has a birthday in April.
I guess I never realized so many people had April birthdays. Every other day there's a Facebook post or car parade to celebrate a birthday.
8. The weather on the beach has been gorgeous every day.
Not that we've been able to go to the beach and enjoy the weather, but the forecasts have seen nothing but sunshine and clear skies. Meanwhile, we've only seen the inside of our bedrooms.
9. There isn't much to do when you can't go out and spend money.
Miami sure is boring when you can't go out to eat or shop at Dolphin Mall or waste money at LIV.
10. My neighborhood is quieter on the weekends.
Before the quarantine, there was a party every weekend in my neighborhood. Now, you can go to bed at 10 p.m. and there won't be any loud music playing next door to keep you awake.