Katie Harmeyer | Monday, February 22, 2021
Last spring semester, I wrote an inside column that was published March 20 — so, by my records, precisely one week after it all went down. Rereading that column makes me laugh. A foundational assumption in the piece: Normal times would resume in probably about 30 days. Ha.
Anyway — because it’s Lent (I should give some alms), and because permacloud is real (I should proactively prioritize my mental health) and because I was just super moody about the pandemic last Wednesday (I should look for the joy in my life), I could probably benefit from some gratitude. I’m certain we can all begrudgingly find the pandemic silver linings when we look for them — more time with our households, a slower pace — you know, those sorts of things. But also, it’s Lent (a season of suffering?), permacloud is real (I think my eyes actually get confused when I step out into sunny weather now) and I was just super moody about the last Wednesday (pretty sure campus is into suspension-of-in-person-activities No. 3 now).
Here’s what I’m grateful for:
- I no longer feel guilty about choosing to use paper towels in public restrooms that have an air dryer.
- The SDH to-go cereal bar will do wonders for my Flex Point balance and the overall inventory of Cheerios at the Huddle.
- When someone is using the stall in the bathroom of the eleventh floor of Hes, I no longer wonder whether I should awkwardly wait inside or outside of the larger bathroom. Here, we wait outside when necessary.
- You probably heard carbon emissions went way down in 2020, but what I really love about this is that at the exact same time my single-use plastics utilization skyrocketed.
- My print quota is also at a record high.
- Face masks fill the void in winter facial protection that was left by 2014’s infinity scarves.
- Using the DeBart women’s restroom during class change times is no longer an Olympic sport.
- Important meetings are way less intimidating when the important attendees Zoom in from their bedroom.
- The other day, my hair was just a hot mess. But then, we all got stuck in breakout rooms with the wrong groups and no instructions. Camera off, hair straightener on. Most productive breakout room ever.
- I probably would never have otherwise invested in a desk chair cushion.
- I am able to leave for my 8:00 a.m. at 7:52 a.m. and have time to pick up my coffee from Starbucks and not have to debate if the Grubhub service fee was really worth it. I simply have no other options.
- We have lodges now. I’ve never been in one, but my mom is very excited about this.
- It’s kinda nice to have large tables all to myself.
- The Venn diagram of Twitter on a typical day and Twitter on the day after the PSAT is ever so slightly more circular than it once was.
It’s the little things. Here’s to a mask-free spring in 2022.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.