Life & Culture

Open Thread: Your Pandemic Pet Peeves

Last Sunday, we asked you readers for your pandemic pet peeves, and the results are in; read on for more!  

It’s like Festivus came early this year!  Some of us are entering the third month of lockdown, and tempers are getting especially frayed, but you don’t need three months of house arrest to start feeling a little…tetchy.  Being confined to home and “suiting up” before for that rare trip outside, foregoing haircuts – it all adds up.

So, like the late lamented Frank Costanza, we’re letting Festivus come early this year.  Let the Recitation of Grievances begin!  What are your Pandemic Pet Peeves? I sure know mine.

And we know yours! Here are the results of the poll so far: 

An overwhelming majority (77 percent) most disliked people who don’t socially distance themselves or don’t wear masks. Although it’s a popular choice for “first thing I”ll do post-pandemic,” the “no haircuts” peeve was a distant second with 9 percent. Close behind at 8 percent was “busybodies/snitches.” A scant 5 percent was most bugged by shoppers in the produce section of supermarkets handling the fruits and vegetables with bare, ungloved hands.  And bringing up the rear with only 1 percent, was my pet peeve – line jumpers.

We’ll keep this poll open for a while, so if you haven’t yet weighed in, feel free – and let us know in the comments!

What's your Pandemic Pet Peeve?


Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City each week. Send your suggestions for Open Threads to her at



13 responses to “Open Thread: Your Pandemic Pet Peeves

  1. In brazil,
    1. Noisy food delivery motor bikes
    2. Motor bike Delivery riders driving like maniacs, not proprtlerly signalling
    3. Store workers don’t bother undestand what it is being said under a mask
    4. 3 pin sockets each one is different

  2. Pet peeve is video call participants who forget (or ignore) that if their camera is on, we see everything. If their mic is on, we hear everything. I recently experienced someone with their face very close to their camera do a cavernous yawn — I feared I might fall in. And the person whipping through crisp magazine pages sounded like she was firing pistol shots at us. So many more examples. Let’s be mindful and courteous when others are speaking and listening.

  3. My pet peeve is not on your list! It’s the lack of communication in our small rural town/community. I had non-essential appointments (check-ups) and was never notified that they would not happen. I called both places weeks ahead of time, and was given,’we’re not scheduling right now, and we don’t know if/when we will’. One office called me 2 days before my appt and asked me if I would take an earlier time. I said “no”, and they called me back the day of the appt to ask if I could come in in an hour. When said “no”, they asked me to come in at my originally-scheduled time! About 10 days before this appt, I had received an email asking me to confirm the appt, which I did. When I told the person who called me to take another time this, her response was “Oh, that’s an automated system”. I asked why they didn’t override it. No response. The other place uses postcards at least a month ahead of time for us to confirm our appts., but of course they weren’t sent out. When I ran into the dentist at a local store, I asked if they were doing non-essential appts., and he said they were – and I should call to make an appt. They could’ve sent postcards telling us what was going on!
    Our local paper can’t seem to keep up on what local eateries are open, doing take-out, etc, and frequently gets that info, and what our governor is saying wrong. It’s very frustrating! We’ve only had 4 cases in our whole county, so I haven’t been very concerned, but we’re a tourist destination, and now a lot of folks from areas that do have a lot of cases coming in. Wearing masks just became a “thing” here about 2 weeks ago, and I can tell you why folks pull them down below their noses: CO2 builds up, and some of us are very sensitive to that build-up; also, many masks steam up our glasses. Thanks for giving us a forum to vent!

  4. THANK SO MUCH Barry for your well balanced reply to Gail. It hurts me to see people using a crisis to show their own interests. I could say a number of wrong acts I obseve daily going on when I go food shopping…and not by whites either but I’d never bring them up in a non-political forum. :)

  5. This is not a “peeve” but something I have determined to do as I Shelter in Place. It is a perfect time to organize my documents and contacts so that when there is an interruption (even temporary) my Spouse and Family knows where everything is. AARP has a couple of books….expensive and large. I also found My Life Directory, a simple, inexpensive, confidential way to list where everything is. Comes as a booklet or PDF with over 100 Topics to guide me. I will at least have something positive to show for my time indoors.

  6. Pet peeve is so easy. I prefer the gratitude thread but here goes.
    I live in a life plan community formally a continuing care retirement home with 700 other residents and I have been locked down for about 7 weeks. To date, our staff have made no attempt to connect on a personal basis such as offering zoom sessions with residents. Ageism is apparent among our staff in my opinion. They have said many times that many of the residents are too old to …… That really drives me over the brink. A YouTube video called This Chair Rocks says it all about ageism in this country. Their quote is that The Bull seem different when in the ring with the bull. Our staff are not in the ring and that is my pet peeve while on lockdown.

    1. Farrell we appreciate your use of technology to stay connected with our larger community. We do in fact use Zoom, FaceTime, and other methods to connect residents with one another, with medical appointments, and family members. We recently set up a private room where residents can connect with their medical team via video feed. We are very limited in terms of time and devices. We do have a slide up offering to assist residents in connecting with Zoom if they have the devices in their apartment. Most staff ourselves had never used Zoom before the virus hit, so we are still learning.

      As you mention there are over 700 people who live here and staff is doing their best with the “new normal.” Dining staff are delivering all meals (over 1000 a day), staff deliver all packages (runners average several miles per day, wearing masks in Arizona heat), and we are busy converting our usual content (exercise, Campus updates, a wide range of religious offerings and support) to digital media for viewing. We continue to offer as many services as possible, all under the conditions that we are to avoid entering private apartments if at all possible.

      We do not dismiss older adults when it comes to technology, and in fact are always seeking ways to grant access for those who are not yet comfortable with methods of communication. We have residents who are teaching one another to set up and use Alexa, as well as holding Zoom sessions with one another. We use resident help in creating and broadcasting our digital content and our weekly printed publication.

      We are aware of the dangers of ageism, and although we are not immune we work against them every day. In fact, before the Coronavirus hit (“B.C.”) we shared Ashton Applewhite’s video with residents on more than one occasion, in an effort to learn more about ourselves and one another. I realize the restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus can feel paternalistic, and I apologize for that reality. And thanks for following us on Instagram! @agelink_beatitudes_campus

      1. This was the pet peeve thread. No staff that I have seen use our network (bccrew). I have seen no effort to train or help anyone to zoom except I heard it was happening at the HCC. I have seen no suggestion to offer cheap tablets to residents upon move-in or afterward. When the admn staff tell us of all the fun they had over the weekend zooming with friends doing trivia, it hurts to the core when they have not offered to zoom with residents. Yes, we have made strides since I moved in over 4 years ago but we have such a long way to go and the first step is to stop with the agism culture. We should be encouraging folks to get on and relate with our outside neighbors, not worrying about fear that some will be threatened by what they might see. Read my gratitude comments in the gratitude thread. This is intended as a reply to Ms. Levy not for general publication.

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