18 Things That Disappeared During the Pandemic That People Desperately Want Back (Mostly)

Written By Elizabeth Ervin

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Are you missing how things were before the pandemic hit in 2020? You’re not alone. After someone asked what had disappeared completely that they desperately wanted back, here is how an online forum responded.

1. Small and Family-Owned Businesses

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An unfortunate number of businesses did not survive the mandatory shutdowns. Several commenters lament over losing their favorite place to ice skate, swimming clubs, buffets, and salad bars.

2. Loved Ones

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At least three million families are mourning the deaths of loved ones lost in the pandemic. A sad number of people share stories of losing grandparents, husbands, wives, and friends.

3. Reasonably Priced Take-Out Food

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Do you remember when you could order take-out food without breaking the bank? Those days are gone! According to many, it’s not even worth getting semi-heated food outside of the home between service fees, tips, and price hikes on food.

4. Collective Common Sense

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It’s no surprise that collective common sense has made this list. The pandemic showed us that we live among a bunch of idiots. The only problem is we’re divided about who the idiots are. You think it’s me, I think it’s you, and nobody gets along.

5. Customer Service

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“Customer service,” one notes. “So many people were laid off and not replaced. The ones who got to stay are burned out but have no choice but to stay. I get the frustration. I noticed that many jobs now aren’t done by customer service, but by more self-checkout at stores, more DIY in general, people are always referring to a website, they no longer assist buyers.”

6. 24-Hour Grocery Stores

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Speaking of stores, do you remember the good old days of shopping at 1:00 am at the grocery store to avoid everyone else and checkout lines? I miss them. After the pandemic, I completely stopped shopping at Walmart because it’s insufferable with people. So I guess it’s not all bad, considering.

7. Manners

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Have you noticed a lack of manners when out in about post-pandemic? A user suggests most people forgot their basic Kindergarten manners. Every time she leaves the house, she encounters more completely avoidable inconveniences than before. “So many people don’t care anymore.”

8. Critical Thinkers

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Someone believed critical thinkers were on their way out, but the pandemic solidified their exit. So now, it’s impossible to have a civil discourse with people of differing opinions. They elaborate that before you could listen, learn, and even disagree. However, “Propaganda and media algorithms have become too advanced.” Combine that with forced isolation, and people are totally polarized.

9. Faith in Humanity

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Sadly, the world’s a lot more cynical now. Many in the thread no longer believe people genuinely care for one another. It was prevalent with the masks protests, despite compromised populations. People were protesting salons and restaurants being closed while thousands of others were dying.

Nobody could have a civilized conversation about it because it became politicized instead of a matter of public health. Well, listen to that. It appears I’ve grown a bit more cynical too.

Someone with an autoimmune disease confesses, “COVID opened my eyes to the fact that people really do only care about themselves. It sucked, but at least now I know for certain.”

10. A Commute

woman in car driver
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Thousands of people have lost their commutes, with the overwhelming number of professionals now working remotely. However, these users aren’t complaining.

11. Customer Service

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According to one, many people in customer service were laid off and never replaced. That explains all the self-checkouts and the lack of real people behind cash registers.

12. Dining

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One individual laments about the $9.99 Chinese and Indian lunch buffets. They’ve all closed down, or the ones that re-opened after being closed during the pandemic are now twice as expensive as before.

A New Jerseyan misses twenty-four eating options they dined at after seeing shows. Finally, a third notes seven of her favorite restaurants were closed.

13. Shallow Friendships

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Losing shallow friendships is one of the best things people lost during three years of COVID. One contributor explains losing 90% of social connections was initially difficult. Before the pandemic, she was the primary organizer of events among friend circles.

However, after she stopped, it became real she was lacking meaningful friendships. Finally, she adds, “trying to be more intentional about quality over quantity.”

14. Mental Health

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Sadly, many people confess to suffering mental health issues due to the isolation, including one whose developed agoraphobia. However, others recommend therapy and swear by their therapist’s ability to help them work through things.

15. Consistent Groceries at Consistent Prices

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Somebody asks, “Why are ‘supply chain issues’ still a thing when the pandemic has been over for quite a while? Exactly how long does it take to find a new supplier?” They note it’s taken away our ability to count on specific products being stocked and available at a certain price.

16. Restaurant Service

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A commenter explains they aren’t some “overly fussy boomer or anything.” However, they miss being able to go to a restaurant or something without an issue, like they’re out of many ingredients, short-staffed, etc.

17. Handshakes and Potlucks

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Finally, handshakes and potlucks have disappeared from workplaces, and the consensus in the thread is that it’s preferred now. After the internet destroyed potlucks for me with videos of people cooking food in cat hair-covered kitchens, I agree that those are things better left in the past.

18. Movie Theaters

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Numerous movie theaters have or are being shut down, and it’s no surprise. With the ability to stream things on opening day or as an early release, people grew accustomed to watching movies at home. No overpriced snacks only inflated groceries.

Source: Reddit.

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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.