COVID, Deep thoughts, Meals

Have we all become homebodies by choice?

I’ve been thinking about something, as things start to open back up and we have moved into Phase 2 here in Wisconsin.

Throughout the strict pandemic lockdown, I assumed that as soon as things lifted, people would flood back out into the world, like horses charging out of the starting gate, desperate to get back to their “old life”, to restaurants, shops, gyms, etc.

But now I kind of wonder if maybe this is not actually the case. The general “vibe” I get when I’m out places these days is that people are NOT rushing back out, at least not to some places that I thought maybe they would (Home Depot and Menards seem to be doing VERY well). 

We have been out to eat a couple of times now, and restaurants that are usually packed have seemed quite empty. I know that there are still 50% capacity restrictions, but it just doesn’t even seem like people are trying to get in. There aren’t lines of cars of people waiting to get in, if that makes sense. The gym, at least when I’ve been there and based on the parking lot volume, has seemed also much emptier than I had anticipated it would be.

I think there are probably a variety of reasons, a big one being that many people are still just not comfortable being out and are generally trying to limit unnecessary exposure. Maybe that’s all it really is. 

Also, I think some of the restrictions are kind of a turn off, in the sense that maybe some people just don’t want to deal with going out if they have to wear masks, socially distance, etc. Sometimes we have found it hard to know which places are even open or not, too, as stores and restaurants have not all opened on any kind of uniform schedule really. 

But Ivan and I were chatting on a walk last night, and we were wondering if maybe the pandemic lockdown went on just long enough that people’s lives, routines and habits really actually adjusted to the change!

What I mean is, maybe people really have just gotten usedto being at home and for the most part have found they don’t really miss being out and about all the time (to some extent). Maybe people have realized they actually enjoy the quieter evenings in, the bike rides, the walks, the home movie nights, the home cooked meals or the grill out nights instead of a night out on the town.

In my case, personally, I currently feel surprisingly indifferent about “going out” right now. Generally, my family REALLY enjoys going out to eat and it’s something I would kind of crave or look forward to. But now, after not doing it for a while, I feel a bit less of a desire to do so. It’s not that I don’t want to go out, exactly. I have enjoyed our meals out now since the restaurants have re-opened, but it’s more that I just don’t really care that much either way if we go out or stay home. I guess I’m just out of the habit of eating out so much now. I’m glad the option is back to go out, though, because I do enjoy some variety.

I wonder about the gym, too. After 2+ months of gyms not being available, most die-hard fitness enthusiasts would have certainly come up with a “plan B” for how to get their workouts in. Maybe people are settled in their new routines and don’t need the gym as much as they thought they did!

I know in my case, I started doing streaming online workouts. And, I guess I’m kind of used to it now! I found it has been working quite well for me, actually….so I don’t feel a really strong pull to rush back to the gym. I wonder if other people are in a similar situation, which could ultimately end up affecting the gym’s traffic. (I feel bad about this in many ways. I love our gym and I want them to do well and have plenty of business. I’m not saying I’ll never go back to working out at the gym, but for the moment, the home workouts are just really convenient!).

Anyway, that’s all! Just some thoughts that I’ve been mulling over. None of the above is based on any facts or data- just my personal perceptions based on how things “feel” to me when I’m out. I could be way off, though! 

What do you think about this?

I have no fun pictures to go along with this post, and is it even a blog post if I don’t post a picture??? Hmm… haha! How about this one, of a very-quickly, randomly thrown together home cooked meal from last night:
  • Includes: 99% lean ground turkey, onion, potatoes, chick peas and peas (seasoned with salt/ Adobo seasoning). 
  • Salsa it’s simmered in includes: 3 roma tomatoes, big chunk of white onion, 5 jalapenos- boil until soft then blend with some garlic and cilantro. Pour over meat mixture and stir in a little Knorr Suiza chicken bouillon powder to taste. 
  • Spoon the mixture into a warmed up tortilla and dinner is served. 

Daily Gratitude:
I am grateful for alone time. I love my family but sometimes I just like a little alone time. Last night the boys and Ivan watched a movie and I decided to opt out of it and sat outside (and then the sunroom, when the mosquitoes showed up) and finished a book I was reading. 

Editing to add…. I just logged on Facebook to share this post in the Grateful Kae group, and it reminded me that 7 years ago today we closed on our first house! 🙂 Seems like a fitting photo to share in a post about staying HOME all the time. 🙂



6 thoughts on “Have we all become homebodies by choice?

  1. I've been thinking about this for a while for my work actually, whether the economy would go back to pre-COVID or we really adjust the set up of new normal (work from home, less outing, let consumism). I think it will depend how long this will take (to contain the virus and people feels safe to go out as before). Some features might stay for good such as online shopping for people who hates malls, flexible work arrangement, etc, but many things are likely to go back to before, why? because nothing fundamental has changed in term of preferences, we were forced to change because of Covid, not because we chose to. So when things are under control, the businesses will do everything in their power to re-attract customers, and people will remember what was like and likely to go back to consume those goods and services.
    that's just my gut feeling as economist 🙂

    personally, I've never been big going out, we are family centered stay at home type, except when we travel, which we do a lot! So that part is definitely will return to pre-covid because that's something we truly love as family.
    work from home? despite all the benefits and the flexibility, i'll go back to office as soon as i'm allowed. 🙂

  2. It's interesting to see who wants to keep working from home and who wants to go back to the office! I personally just love the flexibility working from home allows me, not having to work 8-5. I often work split shifts, different hours, weekends- depending on the rest of my life that week! But I can also see how just going to the office and getting the work done there all at once is attractive too.

  3. Here in Minnesota people definitely don't seem to be "staying at home" anymore. People aren't going on nearly as many walks or playing outside with their kids as much as they were when this all started. Why do I think that is? Well first I think that's because its summer and I think a LOT of families here head to their lake houses for trips throughout the summer and with the fact that they can work remotely means that they can work from their summer places. Also, the stores seem to be just as busy as they used to be. I went to the outlet mall last sunday and it was PACKED. People had to wait in lines to get into store (because of the restrictions) and I will be holding off on my return. But I will say that a number of the regulars I knew from the gym have not gone back and will not go back. I know I will not be going back for the time being as I purchased my own peloton bike during the lockdowns and I have no need to go into the gym now to get in my cardio workout! 🙂
    Love the recipe and I will give it a try but I will have to skip the onions … we are a no onion family!

  4. Yum, that meal looks delicious and is right up our alley with the flavor profile.

    For us, we are not going out to dinner and it's a risk/reward decision. The benefit of being served a meal just isn't work the risk of getting or giving COVID. I do miss going to eat but not enough to risk getting COVID. But I"m high risk with my RA meds and being pregnant also puts me in a high risk group because they don't know much about pregnancy and COVID. So I think we will stick to take out until there is a vaccination which feels soooo far off. I know they might have a vaccination this fall, but I think it will be a long time before it's available to the masses…

    I am trying to do more outdoor gathering with girlfriends, like BYO-Coffee and we meet in a park or some other outdoor space. That has been really nice as I miss seeing my friends!

  5. Interesting! Thanks for sharing that! Like I said, I really wasn't basing this on any facts or statistics- just the general feel I have had when I've been out lately. I have felt like around here it's just not as busy as I would expect. But I can see how the outlets could be busy…I haven't tried to go there yet, but I know how busy they normally get on weekends/days off especially so that doesn't totally surprise me. Probably smart to avoid for now!! That's awesome that you got a peloton! Those look SWEET! I tried one in a mall last winter and they seem pretty fancy. I'm not a huge fan of spinning though- so hard! haha. I always have been a die hard gym goer so I still sort of can't believe that I'm doing home workouts. It is SO nice to be able to have the flexibility from home….I hope the gyms don't lose too much business though!

  6. I think that makes perfect sense! We have found the restaurants we have been to not very busy at all so fortunately we have felt very safe thus far in our experiences. We have never had anyone seated even anywhere near us. I feel more at risk in the grocery store around here- that's the closest I think I get to people! But in your case, being high risk, I think you're making a smart choice about the restaurants. No reason to risk it and add any additional exposure when it's not needed. Glad you're seeing your friends at least!!!

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