The cool, crisp fall weather, the smell of roasting turkey, the prospect of soft, silky pumpkin pie, and a chance to be with family are the usual harbingers of Thanksgiving in America. In pre-pandemic times, these things indicated that it was time to kick back and get into the holiday spirit.
During quarantine, Maris Mann-Stadt, an environmental engineer in western Massachusetts, began using the dining room of her house as an office. She and her husband had previously entertained in the dining room a handful of times a year, but a workspace was a much better fit for the pandemic.
In the absence of parties and happy hours and date nights, millions of Americans living under lockdown have regressed into pastimes like playing Animal Crossing, reading War and Peace, baking sourdough bread, or attempting to learn Romanian.
Imagine the scene: It’s 1994 and Tom Petty is presenting his new solo album Wildflowers to the suits at Warner Bros. He’s been working on this music for two years with a new collaborator, producer Rick Rubin, and he is excited. He presses play.
Participants in a virtual paleontology meeting were not permitted to use the words “bone,” “sexual,” or “Hell” in early digital Q&A sessions, sparking amusement and frustration from researchers attending the online conference.