Was Life Better During the Pandemic? 2021 was the GOAT
The Covid-19 pandemic upended the world in early 2020. People were locked down in their homes for several months. And white-collar workers were told to work from home for multiple years. The pandemic also killed millions of people, but if you were lucky enough to survive 2020 to get vaccinated in 2021, pandemic life had a lot of advantages. Here are some of the advantages that pandemic life had to offer.
The Home was a Better Office than Work
If you were lucky enough to not have children and live in a large apartment or house, you could have had a much more pleasant working experience at home than at the office. You didn’t need to deal with your annoying coworkers in person and could adjust the thermostat to a temperature you liked instead of being too cold or too hot. If you wanted to take a nap in the afternoon, your bed was just next to your office. If you were feeling particularly dishonest, you could have even pretended to work or tried to get 2 or 3 jobs and double or even triple your salary.
And if you like work, you can skip your commute and spend the extra hour or two working. Think of how much faster you’ll get promoted. People with kids at home couldn’t work as much as you, so it was easier to become the most productive person on your team or even at your company.
What’s more is you could make sure you got exactly the food you wanted to eat rather than the food that was available at or near the office. You could have eaten healthier and gotten more exercise. This was a great advantage of life during the pandemic.
Half the Population was Afraid of Traveling
Once the pandemic started, people stopped traveling. This made sense before the vaccines came out. However, after the vaccines came out, even vaccinated people were too afraid to travel because they thought they would get a deadly breakthrough infection. This was great for those of us who were at low risk from the virus as we could take advantage of all the cheap flights and hotel prices in 2021. You could travel to Hawaii or California for a few hundred dollars and stay in very nice hotels for $100 to $200 a night. It wasn’t easy to do that in 2019 and certainly seems difficult in 2022.
If driving is your thing, there was hardly any traffic. This was even true in the most congested of cities. Imagine driving through NYC during rush hour in less than 30 minutes! That was possible in 2020 and 2021. While sleeping in your car is a great way to save money in 2022, you didn’t even need to do this in 2021 and 2020 because travel was so inexpensive.
No Waits for Medical Procedures
While elective medical procedures were postponed at times, there was a lot of availability when Covid cases were low. Many people were still afraid of hospitals and if you needed to get LASIK or some other surgery, you could have gotten an appointment easily. You could have decided to get rid of your glasses on Wednesday and then done the surgery on Friday.
So Much Free Money
The federal government was printing money with reckless abandon in 2020 and 2021 to avoid a Covid-induced recession. They gave out thousands of dollars to a lot of Americans. Even if you were too rich to get these free direct transfers, those Americans bid up the prices of all sorts of assets that you might have already had like houses, stocks and cryptocurrencies. Your net worth probably increased by 20% either due to a direct transfer or the public bidding up the price of the SP500.
What’s more is if you were lucky enough to have a white-collar job, your employer and your employer’s competitors were making tons of money. This forced them to start raising wages and whether you switched jobs or not, you probably got a really large bonus and salary increase.
Did you want to become a billionaire? You could have started a crypto project and got millions of Americans to buy your token using some of the free cash the federal government gave them.
Cheap Rent in NYC, Boston and San Francisco
Love the city? Well, in 2021, most people didn’t, so you could easily get an incredibly nice apartment in Manhattan for half the 2022 or 2019 price. Imagine living right next to Central Park in a two bedroom apartment for only $3500 a month! Rents in other big cities went through similar price decreases. Everyone moved back home, reducing demand for apartments.
Dating a Foreigner Was Way Easier
All the young Americans in the big cities moved back home with their parents during the pandemic to save on rent. The only young people left in the cities were people who were from foreign countries, who couldn’t easily go back home due to all the border closings. If you wanted to find a foreign wife or husband to share your pandemic life with, the competition with other Americans was much less. Americans didn’t want to risk getting covid, but a lonely foreigner might still meet you for a walk in the park, which was kind of safe even before the vaccines came out.
Good Opportunity to Pursue Hobbies
With most people staying at home and not wanting to meet, you had a great excuse for not having a social life. If you wanted to focus on your hobbies, whether that included woodworking or high-quality costume makeup, you had plenty of time to do so.