A blast from the past: 2020 quarantine trends

While the world was under quarantine and safety measures, trends continued to take place while many were isolated. The pandemic took a toll on many businesses, lives and social events. The trends reached the public and alleviated some boredom and uncertainty. Over the course of social distancing measures, bread-making, whipped coffee, “Tiger King,” Animal Crossing and Among Us captured the attention of many. 

On March 13, former President Donald Trump declared COVID-19 a national emergency. As schools and workplaces shut down, everyone was confined in their abodes. The effect of the pandemic opened up a wave of new and upcoming trends. 

Whipped coffee was a trend that emerged during quarantine that blew up on TikTok. The recipe consisted of two tablespoons of instant coffee mixed with two tablespoons of sugar and hot water. The coffee from there had to be whipped with either a frother, hand or bowl mixer. Once the coffee turned fluffy and a light brown color, it was ready to be added to ice and any desired form of milk. 

Another trend that took off during quarantine was the craft of baking bread. This cooking craze took the internet by storm. 

NAU senior Libby Litten participated in bread-making during quarantine.

“During the lockdown I was very bored and after seeing a lot of people online baking bread, I decided to give it a go,” Litten said. “After watching some tutorial videos on YouTube and some TikToks, it seemed fairly easy. The bread was surprisingly really good and it was a fun activity to pass the time during quarantine.” 

Litten had always enjoyed cooking and baking and was happy to get the chance to make a loaf of sourdough bread during quarantine. 

Following the nationwide lockdown, “Tiger King” was released on Netflix March 20, 2020. The eight-episode limited series followed the “murder, mayhem and madness” of the life of zookeeper Joe Exotic. The true crime documentary took over television screens and landed an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. According to Nielsen ratings, the show was watched by 34.3 million people in the first 10 days of being released. 

The documentary primarily revolves around Exotic in Wynnewood, Oklahoma where he owned Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park that displayed big cats for the public to see. The series highlighted the craziness of Exotic’s personal life and long-term feud with big cat rights activist and founder of Big Cat Rescue, Carole Baskin. 

She accused Exotic of abuse and mistreatment of the animals in the documentary. Baskin also gained attention due to the mysterious death of her husband that is still unsolved. 

Despite the multiple accusations and assumptions, Baskin was invited to be a part of the 2020 cast of “Dancing with the Stars.” The following month, social media influencers like Jade Roper, who was a contestant on “The Bachelor,” shared an Instagram post of her dressed up as Baskin. Baskin would later become a TikTok trend as well. 

Cooking trends and “Tiger King” were not the only trends that swept the nation during quarantine. Games such as Animal Crossing and Among Us were also on the rise. According to CNBC news, Nintendo reported a “surging 428% increase in profit due to the lockdown.” Animal Crossing is a video game for the Nintendo Switch. The objective of the game is to collect, explore and transform the cartoon island into a five-star island. 

Jennifer Hudson, who will pursue her master’s degree at NAU in the fall, was one of many who played Animal Crossing on her Nintendo Switch over quarantine.

“I had not played Animal Crossing prior to the pandemic, but many of my friends had,” Hudson said via email. “At the beginning of quarantine and when I first got the game, I definitely played a lot, but once I finished the game I stopped for a while and just recently picked it up again, making my island the best it can be. I enjoy playing this game because it allows me to not only play with my niece, but other family members and close friends. It has been a great way to visit with others during this pandemic, even if it’s just through a game.”  

Hudson said she didn’t think she would have played as much of the game if it wasn’t for the free time during quarantine. The game is an investment, Hudson adds, and she felt a need to check on her village every day.

On the other hand, Among Us is a game that allows people to connect with friends without the feeling of having to play daily. The game is available on all devices and later came out with a Nintendo Switch version. The game is set in an outer space setting, usually on a spaceship and the objective is for crew members to  complete tasks and to figure out what players are the impostors trying to sabotage the spaceship. 

In September 2020, Among Us had 60 million active players daily, according to data and analysis website Business of Apps. Among Us revenue also jumped from 3.2 million in August 2020 to 50 million in November 2020, as reported by gaming news website Pocket Gamer

At a certain point, trends are forgotten and are replaced with new ones. However, these quarantine trends from the beginning of 2020 are memorable because of this monumental time in history and that people experienced them together despite the distance.