Happy anniversary to the COVID-19 pandemic! What a year it has been — when all social events came to a grinding halt last March, it caused all of us to get creative and find things to do. Trends like tie-dye, bleach-dye, DIY haircuts and bread-making were all born out of the pandemic.
All of these trends had to come from somewhere, and that place was TikTok. TikTok saw 12 million new users in the first 3 weeks of March alone. It is clear that the pandemic had a major effect on the app. With people looking to pass time, TikTok became the best solution. TikTok itself is a trend born out of the pandemic, but it also fostered quarantine hobbies many of us participated in and still do to this day.
In March 2020, TikTok and YouTube videos of DIY tie-dyeing techniques went viral. Unique techniques like ice-dyeing became popular, which offered a less vibrant look than traditional techniques. The #tiedye hashtag on TikTok has 4 billion views — yes, 4 billion. I remember looking to TikTok last March to inspire myself with what others were doing and tie-dye was one of the most popular activities on the platform. By April, tie-dyeing kits, white sweatshirts and sweatpants were nowhere to be found. This makes a lot of sense as people were looking for things to do while also ditching their office wear for something comfortable.
Unfortunately, the pandemic as we all know had a huge effect on our daily schedule: favorite coffee shops closed, restaurants closed and bread and toilet paper were nowhere to be found. This made cooking and baking foods from scratch become popular. Whipped coffee is one of the first trends I remember participating in. Equal parts water, sugar and instant coffee, so simple and so delicious. Bread-making also became a hot trend — in fact, when you search it on TikTok, those videos have nearly 60 million combined views. While I did not participate in this trend, many of my friends and family did and now no longer buy bread from the grocery store.
Social events and restaurants were not the only things closed — hairdressers also had to close their doors as an essential service we all need every now and again. Along with many jobs being halted and lower professional dress standards, this gave rise to DIY haircuts and dyes. We all remember the quarantine curtain bangs that were oftentimes forced to become blunt bangs. Add in vibrant pink and purple hair dye and you have yourself a quarantine makeover.
As we all know, time did not stop when the world as we know it shut down. Birthdays, anniversaries and graduations were still happening. Drive-by parade parties, lawn signs and banners were a favorite alternative to the typical in-person bangers. Companies all over the country began working to meet the high demand for these lawn signs. In fact, a printing company in St. Louis, Missouri put up dozens of signs each night. High schools began work to make the best stay-at-home graduations possible. The Binghamton City School District gathered up dozens of teachers, decorated their cars and dropped off signs to each graduating high school senior.
This past year has been anything but normal, but a lot of good did come out of it. We all learned to become more creative, found new ways to pass our time and most of all, none of us were alone throughout it.