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A Return to Old Hobbies

As lives were altered in the spring of 2020 as a result of the global pandemic, people turned to…baking bread. Yes, and this wasn’t the only pastime to make a resurgence during more time spent at home instead of socializing, dining out, traveling, or commuting to the office.

Let’s take a look at the hobbies and activities that people have returned to in recent months as they adjusted to a new normal.

Where's the flour banner?

While the hoarding and resulting shortage of toilet paper made headlines, another staple was disappearing from grocery store shelves: flour. In May, The Atlantic reported that one company saw sales increase 2,000% and at the same time, it became as hard to find as Lysol both online and in stores. On social media, people were sharing photos of their freshly baked goods and sharing sourdough starter.

The shortage was partly the result of employees being able to safely work together to manufacture the flour, while the actual wheat needed to make the flour remained in abundance.

Grow it yourself

Perhaps no one set out to grow their own wheat just to bake a few loaves of bread, but people did decide this was an ideal time to grow some of their own food—either out of fear about the food supply stability or just from having time to plan and plant a vegetable plot.

The Burpee Seed Company reported that they sold more seed in March 2020 than any time in its 144-year history. The interest was worldwide, not just in the United States as would-be gardeners suddenly needed to learn a lot about how to start seedlings indoors and much more. Some seed companies had to stop taking orders during this influx, just to meet demand.

There was simultaneously a surge in online gardening support for these novices, who will soon need a whole lot of recipes for zucchini, tomatoes, and other vegetables.

the sound of music banner

Did you hear about the opera house in Barcelona, Spain hosting their first concert in months in June 2020 for…plants? Yes, the plush balcony seats were filled with the finest ferns and other houseplants.

Perhaps a few of the new gardeners will be practicing songs as another surprise trend was a significant increase in orders of musical instruments—including even grand pianos, according to an article in The New York Times.

The demand seemed to come from families with children who needed something to do or who could no longer go to their lessons, but also to some medical professionals who sought out a form of relief in playing the instruments.

Other changes in behavior reported in the news over this spring and summer have included a dramatic increase in hiking and camping, reading more books (not the online kind), and more person-to-person (non-business) letter writing. What hobbies and activities have you adopted or renewed in your life since global pandemic began? Which of these will you maintain as life resumes with previous routines?

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