It has been three years since the UK’s first lockdown, and time has flown by.

Though it may seem like a lifetime ago since we were all cooped up in our houses, the effects of the pandemic are still being felt today.

It was a time of uncertainty and because of that some of the rules and actions that people took were bizarre, to say the least.

So, here is the Merseynewslive guide to = some of the strangest ‘normal’ things to happen during the pandemic.

10. Lockdown haircuts

Oh, the joys.

We all had one, I think most men I know either had a ‘skinhead’ or let it grow.

I braved the shave personally, but some of the results people had with their makeshift barbers were entertaining.

9. ‘Alternative’ face masks

During COVID, I am sure you all remember face masks being compulsory when going out.

It became part of our routine.

You could not leave the house without your keys, wallet, phone, and face mask.

We have all experienced sheer panic when we got to a shop and realised we had forgotten our face mask.

Frantically looking around town to see if any shop sells face masks.

However, when people forgot a mask, some got creative with alternatives.

Taken from @subwaycreatures on Instagram
Taken from @subwaycreatures on Instagram

You know the times we are living in are strange when seeing someone wearing a plastic bag on their face is seen as pretty normal.

8. The toilet roll raids

Empty shelves in supermarkets during COVID madness

This one was strange.

Why, oh why, did some decide to stock up on a ridiculous amount of toilet roll?

I remember my brother having to go into Tesco when it opened at six in the morning, to make sure we had toilet rolls because we were going to run out.

For a time it was like gold dust and you could not get it anywhere.

It wasn’t like COVID caused explosive bowel movements, so the random stockpiling of toilet paper seem odd and futile.

Shops were having to enforce limits on the amount of toilet paper you could buy.

Strange times indeed.

8. Britney Spears becomes the fastest-ever person

During lockdown gyms were shut, the sport was cancelled, and we had an ungodly amount of time on our hands.

Many decided to get fit and posted their running times on social media.

People definitely didn’t fake these running times, which is why it is common knowledge that Britney Spears is the fastest person to ever live.

Britney posted on social media how she had smashed Usain Bolt’s 100-metre time, clocking in an amazing 5.97.

Usually, she clocks in six or seven seconds, but this really blew the previous record out of the water, which was 9.58 seconds.

Joking aside, Britney may have been confused as to how far she had actually run, but at the time it certainly was funny.

Plus, many were guilty of posting times on social media, and maybe stretching the truth a tad about how fast their time really was.

Either way, everyone was running and posting their times online.

I was actually challenged by friends to run a 5K but I am not a sheep and refused.

Also, I am extremely unfit, so it would have been embarrassing.

7. Sports events behind closed doors

COVID football stadiums

This was eery at first but became the norm.

Having no crowd at some of the biggest sporting events was strange.

You had the option to have fake crowd noise or the deafening silence of an empty stadium.

I preferred the crowd noise, but it was sometimes delayed and was so obviously fake.

When looking at football, where the crowd plays such a huge role, some of the games suffered.

Home advantage meant nothing and hostile atmospheres such as Anfield were nullified.

It was strange looking back, but at the time it became so normal.

6. Social distancing on television

Television during COVID

When our favourite shows returned, it was strange seeing the measures in place.

Watching this morning with Holly and Phil separated by a plastic sheet.

Shows where there is normally an audience, filmed with no one in the studio.

Interviews were being done over zoom.

The quiz shows where guests sat on separate desks spread apart.

It was strange, but at the time, it was life.

5. Strange sleeping patterns

Can’t sleep meme

I, like many, had a terrible sleeping pattern during lockdown.

We were doing nothing all day, so I burned no energy.

This would lead to extremely late nights watching TV until the early hours of the morning and then waking early afternoon.

It wasn’t healthy, but at the time was extremely common.

If you had nothing to do all day, you probably would not be tired by the night.

4. Zoom

Zoom logo

At least someone profited from all this mess, doesn’t that make you sleep better?

They made millions and I, like so many before, had never heard of them before lockdown.

We used Zoom for everything.

Work, school, meetings, leisure, it was crazy.

I had a New Year’s drinks party over Zoom because I was isolated.

I sat in front of a camera, talking to my friends, playing cards, and drinking while listening to music.

It was strange and Zoom is still a part of our lives.

We discovered a lot of things don’t need to be face-to-face, and a lot can be done online.

It was an interesting time.

3. Pubs

When pubs reopened, the rules were everchanging, confusing, and a mess.

As a nation, we may have a drinking problem.

I know people were clinging to normality, but queuing in the rain for a pint outside was a bit strange.

At first, we could only drink in beer gardens.

Then you could go inside, but had to wear a mask when moving around, but not at your table.

Table service only, no ordering at the bar.

Furthermore, remember when COVID just stopped in March and we had ‘Eat Out to Help Out.’

Though that scheme was amazing for cheap food, it probably contributed to the increased infection rate in the months after.

2. Imagine being patronised by Hollywood

This was terrible.

Hollywood, in their infinite wisdom, decided enough was enough.

People were losing their jobs, their businesses failing, and worst of all dying.

They knew what we needed – like they always do.

We needed a cover of celebrities singing ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon.

Honestly, I was down, I was bored, I was lonely, but when I heard Jimmy Fallon sing ‘Imagine’ badly, I forgot what I was even sad about.

I assume you have picked up on my sarcasm there.

The thing is this came across as extremely out of touch from our beloved Hollywood elite.

Them telling us that better times were ahead, and how they were struggling too from their million-dollar houses did not quite hit the emotional chord like they thought it would.

“We are all in this together,” are we?

Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot shared and organised the piece, featuring 25 other celebrities.

Watching some of them really go for it, is an extremely hard watch.

It was out of touch and incredibly cringe, but it’s a laugh to look back on.

1. Clapping the NHS

This aged poorly.

At the time, it was a united show of support for the people who risked their lives during a global pandemic.

Now with the strikes surrounding pay, it looks more patronising than anything.

Yes, we will clap for you.

Yes, you are the fundamental backbone of our nation.

You truly are the true heroes but will we pay you a fair wage… well no.

The clapping was nice, but honestly, do you know what is more valuable than clapping – money.

Money is what they needed, and it is common knowledge that the NHS is incredibly underfunded and is on its knees, more so since the pandemic.

The government stressed their importance during the pandemic.

We applauded their efforts from outside our homes.

Why not pay them a fair wage?

I feel like that would be more appreciated than you hitting a pan with a wooden spoon.

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