The Pandemic Years: A Nostalgic Era


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Kiara Zabala, Opinions Writer

Throughout the years that we have been within the pandemic, a noticeable trend has become a bit apparent among people. While the outside world around us crumbles, the general public have been reminiscing back to their happiest of times in their life. This is what I like to call, the nostalgic era of our pandemic years. 

In my case, I have found myself picking up old hobbies. When the pandemic first started in March 2020, I had around 35 books in my room that littered my bookshelves. Now, as we are reaching our two-year mark, I have over 125 books and am running out of shelf room at an embarrassingly fast rate. Also, when I was younger, I had quite the obsession with the Nintendo character, Mario. I had every game and won them all within a day or so of playing the first level. During the pandemic, I have found myself owning a Mario T-shirt and have even started playing some of my favorite games all over again. 

Finding our way back to our old hobbies isn’t us necessarily regressing. We are just merely searching for comfort in a world that seems to be just giving us more questions to ask than answers. In the CNN article “The Long Lost Hobbies People around the World Are Revisiting during the Coronavirus Pandemic”, written in April 2020, a man named Larry Ginsberg told the following when speaking of picking up an old hobby, “…despite all the uncertainty and fear about COVID-19 and the world, I smiled as the best moments of my childhood with my grandfather and memories of wonderful times with my son flowed back to me.” CNN was on top of spotting the trend of these “lost hobbies” as they referred to them. 

By heading into this deep dive of old hobbies that bring nostalgia, it is bringing peace in a world where we are all so uncertain of what is happening in our everyday lives. I remember in the early days of the pandemic and playing those old video games all night brought a smile to my face, despite being locked inside.  

New York Times writer, Danielle Campoamor, wrote on regards to why we reach for nostalgia in her article “Why We Reach for Nostalgia in Times of Crisis,” published in July 2020, “ …nostalgia serves as a kind of emotional pacifier, helping us to become accustomed to a new reality that is jarring, stressful and traumatic.” Nostalgia during these times can most certainly bring comfort and flood back the purest of memories from past times in our lives. I believe this is the one thing we need. By resorting back to childhood hobbies, we are essentially taking care of ourselves by not letting the anxious thoughts take over.  

So, my advice to you? Go back to that old book series you read when you were younger that brought you so much joy. Go rewatch that TV show, even if it is the hundredth time you have seen it. Dig up that old game you use to stay up all night playing. Find a way to get back into swimming because you find comfort in the smell of chlorine. 

Find that old pastime that brought the most genuine of smiles to your face. Even though we are heading in the direction of normalcy, we are far from being out of the woods.