What Will Life Look Like After This?

what is life going to be like when this is all over

Something I’ve been thinking about a LOT:

What is life going to be like when this is all over?

I can’t quite wrap my mind around it right now. It’s especially hard as there isn’t really any end date (at least for those of us in New York; I know some states are opening back up although that also makes me very nervous). My brain is doing weird things and playing tricks on me. Anyone else put on a TV show, see the characters at a party… and get mad that they aren’t social distancing? What the hell!? I feel like my brain has been rewired and when all of this is over I don’t know how I will react.

I’d like to think things can just go back to normal but I really don’t know? Like how it will feel to walk outside and not wear a face mask, to go to the grocery store, to wait in line at the post office, to hug my friends, to kiss a stranger? To get in a taxi or even ride the subway???

As hard as the past 50 or so days have been, I never forget how good I have it. I haven’t gotten sick, no one close to me is sick, and while I’ve had a few big professional disappointments and my income is definitely less than it usually is, I am okay. Working from home isn’t anything new for me but honestly I’m honestly just incredibly thankful to have healthy friends and family. When things feel terrible, that is my perspective check. I have my health and my livelihood and my family has theirs.

But life has changed so much so quickly.

Will things just change back just as quickly? Can they? Do we want them to? I have a feeling that one of the positive things from all of this is that we are all getting more introspective and thoughtful.

One positive side effect of being stuck inside for so long is that I’ve gotten a lot more organized. My apartment has never been cleaner, my refrigerator is spotless, that pile of receipts that was building up on my desk is taken care of… all of those little things that were stressing me have been more or less taken care of. I’ve spent a lot of time tracking down unpaid invoices and I feel more organized than ever.

My plants are thriving. Tyrion’s toys are all very organized. The dust under my rugs has been Dysoned away. I’m cooking SO much. And I love that. I’ve made things I never thought of myself as particularly domestic or that I could make things like bread and delicious pastas and things that had just felt far too “advanced” in the past. I hope that continues.

I think about dating and relationships.

And I truly cannot imagine what dating is going to look like after this. Sitting in a bar feels strange enough, let alone talking to a stranger. Let alone touching or making out with aforementioned stranger. AM I GOING TO BE A HUGE PRUDE NOW? But the past couple months have been incredibly lonely. I was seeing someone before the pandemic and it did not survive. Will the new barometer for a boyfriend be whether I think he could handle a disaster like this? Whether I’d want to be quarantined together?

Pre-quarantine, I often complained about my social life. In my industry there are so many events that I’d often feel overwhelmed and burnt out by it all. Now, I’m tired of my couch! I’d love a week packed with exciting plans!

On the work front, I think a lot (I thought about this a lot pre-quarantine too!) about how wasteful this industry (fashion, beauty, blogging, digital media as a general whole) can be. Giant packages would regularly show up at my door full of beauty products (and oftentimes, a huge amount of excess packaging). And I know this might sound fun but I promise you it gets old really quickly when your building has strict recycling measures, you don’t actually want all that stuff, and you are a one-person show spending hours a day breaking down boxes and figuring out where to put all that STUFF.

Now, brands reach out and actually ask if I’d like to receive their mailer, knowing that people are sensitive about packages right now. For the first time in years, the mail is not causing me any stress and I’m not spending hours every day breaking down boxes. And I wish it didn’t take a pandemic for that to start.

I think about consumption as a whole:

I’ve always been reasonably responsible but now, looking into my (now beautifully organized) closet at all of those party dresses and even all of my JEANS (bc I’m on a strict soft pants diet right now) I am hit with a wave of emotions. The first is an obvious one: I MISS WEARING THESE THINGS. The second isn’t necessarily regret but more of a… “do I really need all of this?!?” I don’t know. I’m not going to tell you that I’m going to become a minimalist when all of this is over but I have definitely gotten more mindful about my spending and also all of the stuff. Because right now, my home is very clean and orderly and I like it that way.

I think about travel too. When will it feel okay again, getting on a plane and going to a new place? Will I still want to wear a face mask?

There is also the matter of MY HAIR.

Specifically, the amount of time and energy I spent on my hair pre quarantine. For as long as I can remember, my hair’s natural texture has been my worst enemy. Every day is a battle against its thick, dry, frizzy, and somewhat wild tendencies. I’d either spend a fair amount of money on blowouts, OR a ton of time heat styling it. It’s kind of just fine air dried? It’s not great but it’s not the monstrosity I’ve made it out to be? I do very much miss blowouts and smooth sleek hair. But it just feels so frivolous and unnecessary right now.

Honestly the same goes for pretty much all maintenance and beauty treatments. In some ways I’ve gotten more high maintenance (baths and face masks every night?) but I’ve also realized how much I can do on my own. I’m basically turning into an aesthetician over here. 😉 ‘ve realized I can do pretty much everything at home (besides bikini waxes and hair cut/color). It’s a lot less expensive and also less time consuming. I’ll probably keep doing these things on my own now… a lot of stuff just feels like a big waste of money.

Anyway, this was a lot of rambling all to say that I don’t really know what life is going to look like after this. BUT I do think that ultimately, the changes will be positive. I hope that we will emerge from this with our lives feeling fresh, deep cleaned, and orderly… and that once the anxiety of returning to “real life” dissipates, we will come out of this better than before.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this, if you feel like sharing!

Leave a Comment


  1. G says 4.30.20

    I’ve been thinking about this too! Your comments about your hair are similar to what I’ve been feeling about makeup. I think I might be fine without it. I never wore that much before, but I was way into blush and now I can’t even picture putting it on. (Not ready to give up mascara yet though, haha.)

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      Funny you mention blush as I put some on today and felt immediately SO MUCH better! But I get it. Most days now it’s brows, lashes, and a little blush or bronzer!

  2. NYC Lady says 4.30.20

    First off, thanks for writing about this, Grace1 It’s been the constant topic on my mind, so I have lots of thoughts about it (apologies in advance for what’s likely to be a long-winded way of saying ‘Who knows?’). For some context, I grew up a couple hours outside of NYC and had experienced the after-effects of both 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy. My parents taught me during 9/11 that this state is one of – if not, the most – resilient states in the US and they didn’t shy away from taking our family into the city or on vacations post-9/11. During Sandy, I lived in the city and saw first-hand how resilient the city could be. All that said, this is a completely different tragic event that will inevitably shift how we live, work and play for several years. I don’t consider myself a germaphobe in the least, but the idea of getting on a subway sends a ripple of anxiety through my body and the idea of getting together for brunch with my friends seems so foreign. Even my beloved boutique fitness classes feel like they’re going to be something of the past, at least until a vaccine comes out. I work for a major corporation in Manhattan and we’ve been told not to expect to return to the office anytime soon – selfishly, this makes me super excited as I enjoy work more when I’m physically disconnected from the office (but also, I’m convinced that the air circulation makes the office an actual petri dish that has resulted in me getting sick consistently 1x a month which never happened before). That said, all of this makes me question living in NYC, or at the very least, how I will live in the city after this. My family and friends are in and around the city so I don’t plan to pack up and leave my beloved city anytime soon….but I will say that it’s more than likely that my social life will become hyper-local to my Brooklyn neighborhood and hanging out in Manhattan will probably not be a thing until sometime in 2021. That sounds extreme, but working from home for longer than a week felt extreme at the beginning of March and look at where we are now! On a separate note, I’m in a relationship but OH MY GOODNESS I am hoping he is the one (I think he is, but we’re only a couple months into our relationship so who knows?!) because thinking about going on a date, sharing a charcuterie plate (my favorite) or tapas and then KISSING said date sends me on a rollercoaster of emotions. Stranger danger, x 1000000. I think people will most likely start to get hyper-local about who they date, too…but maybe that’s just me. My heart breaks for my favorite cafes, restaurants and bars in the city because as eager as we are to go on with our lives and reunite with the people we who make this sometimes crazy (mmm…always crazy?! haha) city all the more worth it, we won’t be able to shake the feelings and the results this virus has left with us. How will it feel to be in a restaurant with only 50% capacity? Furthermore, how will one eat or drink at a restaurant while wearing a mask (trick question, you can’t ha). Though nobody knows the answers to those questions, there’s no question that we will get through this and there will be silver linings to be found.

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment! I agree that I will definitely be spending most of my time in Brooklyn vs. the city. Going anywhere that requires something other than walking stresses me out. Hugs!

  3. Elle says 4.30.20

    Loved this post Grace. I feel the same. I try not to tell myself that this is the new normal but we are just adapting to this temporary way of living. Sure things will definitely change but I am trying to stay optimistic and say maybe this will wake people up and actually treat people with respect and cherish the life we have. I think some people desperately needed a wakeup call and hopefully this was it. I’m excited that we living in such an exciting city and it will be exciting again. We are all in this together and will come out better on the other side. xo elle

  4. I’m right there with you on all fronts! Including the TV shows… even seeing these fictional characters hug and just walk into each other’s houses stresses me out for a brief moment

    I hope some things change permanently: airplanes being thoroughly cleaned between flights (not just trash pick up– this has ALWAYS bothered me), shopping carts disinfected between uses, etc.

    • Andrea says 4.30.20

      HARD AGREE! I am always amazed at the lack of sanitization pre-quarantine in so many aspects. I hope they become regular.

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      I hope so too. I know I for one am going to be the person who always wipes down my airplane seats, etc etc!!!!

  5. Camille Vinogradov says 4.30.20

    Grace, this was such a well written post. Your writing has gotten stronger and stronger everyday. Something you touch on in the post that has definitely been true for me has been how happy I am that I have a partner. I was single for awhile and started dating someone in October. While we definitely have had our quarrels, quarantine has showed me how gracious and kind he is. I think that this period is showing us how to be kinder to each other and how to show more empathy. I also have been reading a lot more and getting into a lot more crafts which has been great!

  6. Kristin says 4.30.20

    I’ve been having similar thoughts. Definitely been thinking about all the things I can do for myself at home now too. Olive and June manicures are the self care I didn’t know I needed!

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      Do you find Olive and June to be better than other manicure kits? I am intrigued but have so much nail polish that it’s hard to rationalize!

      • Jane says 4.30.20

        Grace, re: cutting back on things, the olive & june stuff convinced me pre-pandemic that I don’t want to pay for a manicure again. I think what makes a difference is watching their tutorials, actually waiting for each coat to dry, and using the top coat. The topcoat does look extra shiny—closer to a gel look without feeling damaged after the fact.

        I’m really enjoying your writing and stories and hope to see more from you about how you’re adapting to at-home beauty “self-services” (can’t wait for your brow dying tips!!!). <3

  7. Martha says 4.30.20

    In my mind things can’t go back to normal until there is a vaccine. I am supposed to get married this summer and we’ll most likely move it to next summer, but a little part of me just can’t even picture it anymore for all the reasons you said. Even if things start slowly reopening, everything will still look very different until there is a vaccine and everyone is able to get it.

    • Sara says 4.30.20

      This is exactly how I feel. Until there is a vaccine, nothing will ever feel the way it once did. I am confident that we will find one, it’s just going to be a long wait.

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      I’m so sorry.. My cousin is also getting married this summer (in July) and we are kind of just not sure what’s going to happen!!!) Agreed that it can’t really go back to normal til there’s a vaccine. And an accessible for ALL vaccine, at that!

  8. Hitha says 4.30.20

    I’m with you in feeling eternally grateful for my and my family’s health and safety. But the lack of structure and socialization for Rho has hit a peak this week, and I toggle between frustration and yelling at my kid and feeling so bad and completely empathizing with him. I desperately miss Rho’s school and activities, our caregivers who give him structure and fun. I miss non-COVID life. I miss my home. Did I mention missing our caregivers?

    It’s hard. It could be worse and I’m grateful we have our health and safety…but my heart breaks a bit more every day when I see how hard this is on Rho.

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      Ah friend I am sorry, I can’t imagine raising two kiddos in all of this!!!! Hugs to you and Rho.

  9. Rachel says 4.30.20

    Thanks for writing this, Grace. These are a lot of the things I’m worrying about, too, and it’s so nice to hear that I am not alone. It will definitely be a new normal!

  10. Jana says 4.30.20

    This is such a well written article, Grace! Thank you! I agree with you about so many things.
    I have also learned how fast and cheap it is to make my own manicure at home and finally use all my own nail polishes again. Generally, I don’t care so much about my makeup anymore – and I still survive, my fiance hasn’t gone blind either.
    In the big picture this crisis has me especially question the U.S. in so many aspects. I am originally from Germany, lived in Boston for a few years and moved to the City only last summer. I also got sick with Covid recently and spent three weeks in bed. Oh, plus we had to cancel our wedding and in any case I am for now banned from even applying for a Green Card. I am neither a fan of the health system nor any other social support system here. And I don’t trust politics/the society to change any of this. So for the first time in our relationship I have raised the question if we should move to another country. This might get more serious in 2021.
    On a positive note, I can’t wait to sit in our favorite diner for breakfast soonish, enjoy probably two dishes (at least) and watch all of NYC happen just in front of the windows.

  11. Cassie says 4.30.20

    When this first started happening, I longed for life to go back to normal. I imagined heading back to my college campus and doing things exactly as I did. Since then, my college student center has been converted to a food relief program distribution center and the dorms housing units for healthcare workers. There is talk about online classes for the fall term. I’ve come to terms that the campus I knew and loved is never going to be the same again. We may have to wear masks to class and conduct student org meetings virtually. There will never be a ‘normal’ I don’t think. Things will change and shift gradually. In terms of beauty habits, I can not wait to get my hair cut/colored again! Although I do think I will go back to doing my own nails as I have found really great products during this.

  12. Dallas says 4.30.20

    I definitely agree on some of the services I used to pay for at a salon. I’ve become ace at painting my own nails and it’s hard to imagine feeling comfortable sitting across from a nail tech and breathing the same air in that two foot space for 45 minutes. Plus, I now give myself a fresh manicure that looks great every week and my only cost was the original $80 I spent on a June and Olive kit. I’m dyeing my hair at home with an eSalon kit for $20 every six weeks instead of getting expensive highlights. I’m figuring out how to pluck and tint my own brows. It’s saving me enormous amounts of money. It’s not just about the money, I just can’t imagine when I’ll feel comfortable sharing such close quarters with my beauty providers again.

    The pandemic has made me think a lot about making my life shock proof. Savings, emergency kits, setting my home up to be prepared for a disaster. It’s a pandemic now, but there’s also projected instability from climate change. I don’t know… sustainability, justice, and some kind of self sufficiency feel more important than ever. It’s definitely a big shift in my thinking.

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      I couldn’t agree with you re: nails, and I like the term “shock proof,” agree with that too. A big shift in thinking for sure.

  13. Karina says 4.30.20

    I’ve been wondering myself this lately too. Especially the social aspect. I’m an introvert and I like being alone however I find myself really missing my friends. It’s one thing to not want to go anywhere on a daily basis but it becomes a lot different when suddenly you CANT go anywhere. Now I find myself wanting to meet up more than ever and just give everyone hugs for really long time. Add to that, that I’m living at home with family which is driving me bonkers and all I can think is god if this ever happens again I hope I have my own place with a significant other…. or a cat lol.
    The only thing the opposite is that I never really used a lot of skin products, just exfoliant toner and moisturizer from the Body Shoppe but now I have a lot more time to browse skin products and get tempted to buy things to make my skin better. The only thing stopping me is being unemployed.
    I really hope when all this is said and done and things completely return to normal at some point in the future, people will remember all the good that came out of this – the need for family, to be helpful, the clean environment etc. I really hope 5 years down the line we don’t undo everything we’ve learned now.

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      This really resonates with me. I’m an introvert as well but you’re right, there is such a difference between wanting to stay home and being forced to!! I really miss my friends and I really miss physical touch and hugs!!!

  14. Jennifer says 4.30.20

    I’m thinking one of two things will happen – 1) I can’t decide if all this cooking proved to me that it’s actually easier than I thought to eat at home more or if 2) I’ll be so over it that I will eat out wayyyyyy more.

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      Hahahaha, I think it will be a little mix of both. Sometimes I am just SO TIRED of cooking and wind up ordering in takeout.

  15. Brooke Lane says 4.30.20

    I really enjoyed this post!

  16. Lisa Simpson says 4.30.20

    I am hopeful that wearing masks does fade once a vaccine becomes available for all… thinking summer making will be awful ( I wear glasses sometimes)
    I am going to take some lessons into my post COVID-19 life like waking up at 6am vs. 4am. My blood sugars ( I am a type-1 diabetic) have been mostly perfect, and I struggled for many years but my desire for ” productivity ” was probably getting me deeper in a health debt. Everyone is different but finding out what my body needs was a godsend.

  17. Lizzie S. says 4.30.20

    I too have thought about how personal beauty standards might change. I’ve realized that I can spend 30 minutes on a morning walk and 5 minutes on a quick makeup + headband situation before my zoom workday whereas before all this I would spend an close to an hour on hair and makeup. But starting my day with a walk? That feels good. I hope that prioritizing what feels good will continue for me.

  18. diana says 4.30.20

    Personally, I think things will feel less different than people expect. The pandemic will change things, without a doubt, but I think in times of crisis people’s inclination can be to think the worst or that things will never be the same. I was speaking with one of my coworkers about post 9/11, when there were all these lofty predictions going around — tourists would never come back, no one would want to work above the third floor of an office building, etc. None of it happened. New York is resilient, and so is humankind. I think there will be an adjustment period and lessons learned without a doubt, but I think we’ll be surprised by how much our return to some level of normalcy does in fact feel normal, not weird.

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      Thanks for this Diana, it was what I needed to see! I hope things will go back to normal when all of this is over!

    • Lindsay says 4.30.20

      I cannot agree with this comment more. Diana, I think you’ve nailed it. This is what I’ve been thinking but haven’t been able to express it. Thank you for sharing!

    • Hilary says 5.3.20

      Diana I could not agree more. Have been trying to shout this from the rooftops (not quite as eloquently!) but have felt very much alone in my beliefs, even in my closest inner circles, which has been difficult. Feels like such a relief to see there are others who believe we will weather this crisis and (eventually) resume normalcy again. We are very resilient! Thank you for saying what I needed to hear from someone else 🙂

  19. Andrea says 4.30.20

    All of this is so true. I am quarantined with my boyfriend and I have been thankful that we’ve had an *easy* quarantine. We are healthy, we are working, we have not fought, we can get many things accessibly. But I am mourning the socialization I used to complain about. I think when we go back to *new normal* we will hopefully all be a little more grateful

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      I really hope so!! I know I will be so grateful for all of the tiny things I took for granted in the past.

  20. Sharon says 4.30.20

    Such a great post Grace. I am in my later 40s with a 15 year old and a 12 year old. I worry that this virus has kicked my anxiety into a higher gear than ever…. not so much right now but when I think about the ‘other’ side…. I have a mini panic attack….. Right now, I feel like I can control my little cocoon…. All 4 of us are at home.. my husband and I working from home and my kids doing elearning. Usually, my kids are at 2 different schools, one with a long bus ride and multiple competitive sports that take up a lot of our weekends, I travel a fair bit for work so the airport can sometimes feel like my second home…. I cannot fathom leaving our home again for our usual normal….. I worry that my mental health is seriously at risk.

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      Sending you a giant hug, Sharon!!!! I am hopeful that things will get better and while there will be an adjustment anxiety will slowly diminish.

    • Lisa says 4.30.20

      I feel the same way. Like you, I am fine right now but terrified about going back into the world normally.
      My biggest concern is my kids going back to school. Children do not know how to physically distance from others!

  21. Theodora says 4.30.20

    Re: the dating part. I kind of joked with my therapist the other day about wanting a quarantine boyfriend and it opened up a whole can of worms of what *will* dating like be now? Her point was, will COVID tests be the new STD tests?? But not joking, part of wanting to find someone now is to not be all alone if this happens again.

    • Theodora says 4.30.20

      and on a superficial note!! You have talked so much before about not liking how your hair is naturally and I think it still looks good right now!

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      omg that’s funny. And thanks re: hair. I really don’t like it but it’s not the end of the world!

  22. christina says 4.30.20

    Loving this post.. I am excited (is that strange?) to see what the new normal brings. In my old life, I worked for a company that had a pretty strict no working from home policy. However, for the past 8 weeks, we have proved to everyone that we can work from home and that we are really good at doing that. I would be surprised if the future doesn’t bring some permanent work from home options. Also, my husband and I both work demanding jobs.. some days we rarely see each other with 12+ hours spend at work. This has given us a second to slow down and spend more time together. He still needs to go in from time to time, but it is nice to have lunch together or go on walks during a much needed work break. I think the days of excess is over; excess spending, travel, etc. Hopping on a plane and going to Europe for a few days had become normal (guilty!), but in reality, our parents never did any of that stuff. A big vacation was a trip to Florida or a road trip to a nearby state. I believe there will be more emphasis on time together and family when this is all done.. reverting back to the way things used to be years and years ago.

    • NYC Lady says 4.30.20

      Yes! I work for a company that’s more “traditional” in how they think about working from home, and suddenly the executive team realizes that we CAN be efficient working in our PJ’s while surrounded by family members, pets, etc. so there is increased talk of HR being much more flexible in the future. Fingers crossed!

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      I think that sounds really nice. I hope so! Xo!

  23. drea says 4.30.20

    I’ve been thinking about this A LOT. I’ve been stuck at a job I dislike for ages, and had finally started to make moves to change that. I decided to apply to several different dramatic writing/screenwriting MFA programs, thinking that I wouldn’t get in, only to find out in the midst of the pandemic, I found out I had gotten accepted to a dream program at Tisch at NYU. As an LA native, I was excited about moving to New York, and the idea of studying theater (!) and writing (!!) in New York was everything. But… they were insistent that they were going to start in September, and refused to provide contingency plans. And they kept insisting that things would be normal. They didn’t acknowledge how Broadway/theater in NYC has been and will continue to be affected by this for months after it “ends” (Mark Harris from Vulture did a fantastic write-up on this!!), and they didn’t really address the fact that New York before this was very different from what it will be after. And then, did I want to give up my job before a big recession, only to take on massive debt? It was a serious, serious back and forth, before finally deciding that now was not the right time to pick up my life and move across the country. It breaks my heart, truly. And I hope that I didn’t blow my one chance to be a dramatic writer, but I also had to trust my gut, and make the best decision for me right now, which was staying put. I don’t regret it, per se, but I am sad for that alternate version of my life that I will not get to live.

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      Oh my gosh I experienced so many highs and lows reading this comment! I’m sorry that it didn’t work out but I think you definitely made the right decision. I’m a bit horrified at their insistence of starting back up in September.

    • Stacy says 4.30.20

      Drea, I really relate to this. After over a year of dreaming and planning, I was finally making moves for a cross-country move myself. Now, who knows when that will happen. I hope I can still make that change (I wasn’t planning on NYC, so its a little different scenario!) but it feels devastating to have your plans changed by something so out of our control.

    • Mimi says 4.30.20

      Hey Drea! Congrats on the admission to NYU, even if you decided to stay put! Just want to say that I work in the arts, specifically I play in an orchestra that plays for a 3900 seat hall. No, our lives and those in the arts (both for mass gatherings and in general) will not be “normal” any time soon, if ever again. But it’s awesome that you were accepted into NYU and who knows what opportunities the future might bring!! I also teach at a university and we are being more accommodating than ever to incoming students…you deserve that!! Sending you peace with your decision and another year of escape from winter 🙂

  24. Jenny says 4.30.20

    The dating part is very real. I started seeing someone a little before quarantine and I had to end things largely in part to how he was handling the whole situation (we had different ideas on the importance of social distancing and the severity of the situation). I like to be well informed (maybe too much so) and for him- ignorance was bliss. It gave me early insight into what a future may look like with him and hence the dating barometer has now been changed.

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      It definitely shows us people’s character!!!! I’m sorry that it ended but it sounds like the situation fast-tracked you into having to make a tough decision – for the best!

  25. Shea says 4.30.20

    I’ve been thinking the same things..
    Do I need to switch to an “essential” career?
    Missing my commute to work and then being thankful I don’t sit in traffic anymore.
    How will I handle childcare when my office building opens up again?
    I’ve loved being home with my kiddo and am not really looking forward to getting back to “the grind”. Stepping back and slowing down as much as we have has been nice.
    God I miss my manicures and don’t love doing my nails myself and I sure as shit need a haircut
    AZ is tentatively opening up soon and I am worried about it!
    Dying to go visit my mom in Seattle and sad that I can’t for a while.
    Love your blog and insta 🙂

  26. Drew says 4.30.20

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this too! I’ve decided that I’m not a hand shaker anymore. I’m also going to be much more conscious of close quarters situations.
    We’ve been doing so much cleaning too. I can’t believe how much more organized the house is getting.

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      I am definitely no longer a hand shaker!!!!!

      And feel the same – my apartment has never been more tidy and organized!

  27. Jaime says 4.30.20

    I’m so relieved that I’m not the only one that gets mad at people on the TV! Why are you in that restaurant? Why are you at that party? Don’t you know we can’t do that?? And of course they don’t because, ya know, fictitious. And also, prepandemic. I also don’t think I want the shows I watch to acknowledge the social distancing we’ve all been through. I think once we go back to whatever normal will look like, the last thing I’ll want to see is a bunch of characters reliving this for us.

  28. I just can’t imagine what life will be like after this! I think in Hong Kong, it’ll largely be the same, just because we’ve already gone through SARS in 2003. I was still a kid back then but it really changed the whole city – basically every Hong Konger is a hygiene freak lol if someone coughs on the subway they get glared at! ❤️✨

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    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      That is so interesting; and something I hadn’t really thought of!!!! Will be interesting to see what this does to the US as we haven’t ever experienced anything like it!

  29. Nora says 4.30.20

    Thank you for writing this! It is something I think we are all thinking about right now. I completely agree with you about brain rewiring – I see characters on shows shaking hands and CRINGE. I think this just changes everything we do – as a society and individually. I think about how much better prepared we could have been and now moving forward we will be all the more cautious and responsible. I think there are a lot of things we will miss at the “end” of this but in many ways, I think the new normal will make many things better if that makes sense.

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      Yes!!!! Shaking hands kills me!!!! Totally agree about being better prepared for this.

  30. Nicole says 4.30.20

    Grace, this was simultaneously comforting, reassuring and refreshing to hear! I have been thinking a lot of these same things and glad I am not the only one. I often think about how one day I was living my “normal” life (concert, restaurant, bars all in one night) and just a few days later I was quarantining and the whole world changed. As someone who will be going between Philly, NJ and NYC every week for work when this is over, I wonder how life will return. Will I feel unsafe riding so many trains and the constant back and forth between major cities? Will wearing masks become the new normal for a while? Will I always want to Clorox wipe the seat/ tray/ area I am sitting in a public space?

    And of course, what will transitioning back to “normal” literally look like? Similar to you, I have becoming much more accepting of my natural hair and almost grown to like it (although, I need some fresh highlights!) and have really leaned into my new at-home skincare routine and its WORKING (thanks to many of your recs!). Also, for someone who is about to start a career in fashion, this is going to change so many things about my/ our industry. It is exciting to think of how things could become less wasteful and more streamlined but also scary because major change can be disruptive in an industry. Just a lot of ramblings here, but ultimately I agree and love your perspective that hopefully this will bring a lot of positive changes to our world in the future. It can be scary but we’ll get through it together!

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      Aw I am so glad to hear it!!!! I know – right before this all started, I was out at fancy dinners, wearing high heels and putting on makeup and now.. stuck at home alone in sweatpants. I have a feeling I’m going to be caring clorox wipes on my person at all times?

      On a lighter note I’m glad that my skincare recs are working for you!!!!

  31. Caroline says 4.30.20

    I find myself watching people be so frivolous with toilet paper on tv shows (scripted and “reality”) and how I haven’t seen any in stores in at least 5-6 weeks now wondering if they would’ve wasted it knowing this was coming. I’ve also been watching Grace & Franking and occasionally getting mad at them for going to parties when they’re like 80 and having to remind myself they filmed in a completely different world.

    States are starting to reopen and shopping malls open tomorrow…and I don’t feel like I’ll be ready to venture out into places like that anytime soon. I’ve also been getting pretty testy with people walking into my personal space at the grocery store. I’ve always liked my bubble to be free of others, and now I’m even more irritated when someone gets close enough to physically touch me. It makes me think this reopening/ending federal guidelines for social distancing isn’t going to bode well for my mental health until I see how the numbers shake out…. or make a tutu with an 8ft radius so people literally can’t get close to me.

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      Hahahahahaha I know I agree. And lol this was a good reminder as I LOVED Grace & Frankie but kinda fell away from watching it!

  32. Ailsa says 4.30.20

    I echo a lot of what you’ve written and have realized I, too, am a lot less high maintenance than I thought I was. I do my own hair and nails. I truly just miss my waxes. So many hidden gems during this awfully, sad time. Thank you yet again for another well written post.

  33. Steph says 4.30.20

    This might be your best post ever. You so eloquently expressed the thoughts that so many of us are having. Your quarantine content has been fantastic and I look forward to reading your blog every morning. We’ll make it through this difficult time. Sending you all the positive vibes!

  34. Alana Anderson says 4.30.20

    I have been cooking and baking so much more in quarantine life and it’s nice to have found my way to both because I love doing them. This time has made me reflect on how busy my life was and how I do need to slow down to make room to cook because it provides me joy.

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      I agree so much with that. It’s like we’ve been forced to slow down, which is all at once frustrating, refreshing, annoying, and necessary?

  35. Kevin says 4.30.20

    Hey… it’s gonna be alright ☺️. Yes this unprecedented, but so is life. This is the time when we need most too recognize and Truly appreciate All of those who are putting their lives at risk, just so we can have food delivered to our door. I am a Marine and I understand what uncommon valour means. I salute All of our health care professionals who are going beyond and above what is expected from them. This is also an unprecedented time for All Americans too Truly appreciate what Our military does everyday. Isolation in many ways. We need to get to know and realize, that there is a higher Power…and it is not us! Everything’s gonna be alright

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      Hi Kevin! No idea how you found me but thanks for the comment, and thank you for your service.

  36. Thank you for sharing so many great thoughts. . I , too, am battling my hair which was overdue for a cut before lockdown. I rarely dried it myself before. I look at my closet in the same way. How much do I need? And when will I get to wear that? I e ditched makeup, but upped my masking and ZIIP game. I agree this is an opportunity to return to different ways. Lastly, thank you for entertaining us with your great video and for keeping my reading list long and well curated. XO

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      I am SO OVERDUE for a cut. It’s really bad. But hey at least I’m not going anywhere!!!
      So glad you’ve been entertained by the videos and reading lists. xo

  37. Yoyo says 4.30.20

    Thank you for your candid thoughts! You’re very open about making a living from blogging so I appreciated the honesty regarding wasteful packages and even beauty treatments. The pandemic has really made us all reevaluate what’s important in life. On side note I had my first quarantine dream: I was watching a Broadway show and I was internally freaking out thinking “How are we here? Why are we sitting so close to each other? Why aren’t we wearing masks?” It’s scary to think about how this could be our new normal. Hang in there!

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.20

      OMG that would have me in a cold sweat!!!
      I dreamed that I had to leave New York and couldn’t post about it to social media, lol. Stress dreams!

  38. Ann says 4.30.20

    Thank you so much for putting in words what I’ve been feeling this entire time! I’m also very curious about what the future is going to look like for someone like me who has the capacity to work remotely (I’m in Finance) but has definitely NOT worked remotely ever. I have always been in an office and we’ve always valued “face time” over everything else.

    But now I think there will definitely be a shift for probably a long time as offices will try to implement social distancing rules which I think will be quite challenging given the open floor plans of many.

    In terms of dating – I feel the same way. What will it be like even after we’re not all locked inside? Are we going to be risking getting the virus in order to get a date…?

    • Couldn’t agree more. It’s going to be really interesting to see what happens!

      • Ann says 5.1.20

        Also I just listened to the latest Be There in Five podcast episode about the influencer culture and how in these unprecedented time a lot of influencers are getting a lot of heat for some of their choices. I just want to commend you on being a voice that really stands out as level headed, genuine and most importantly trustworthy. I hope that the industry as well as all the brands recognize people like you who are setting a really good example for the rest of us!!

  39. Lexie says 4.30.20

    I love this post! Such a weird time right now. Sometimes I’m having a great day and being super positive and another day I’m anxious, stressed, & just down. Definitely not the normal for me but I think it’s okay to feel weird. I try to remember the perspective trick & that definitely helps but as someone who is a planner and likes a routine–this is HARD!!! Thanks for sharing your truth!

    • So happy to hear that!

      And I feel you – I’m also so up and down!!!! UGh. Hang in there!

  40. Jessica says 4.30.20

    Thanks for this, Grace! As a single woman in her mid-30s, dating has been on my mind. Simply meeting for a drink will be risky until there is a vaccine. As if it wasn’t hard enough already! I agree, thinking about how they would handle a crisis or be in quarantine is important going forward. As for seeing friends, maybe doing so at home in small groups would be best in the beginning. As much as I love & miss restaurants & bars, not sure how to navigate them after all of this.

    I miss getting dressed. I feel most myself when I do so. Maybe I need to establish a cozy look in the meantime!

    I have a weakened immune system, which for the most part is usually a non-issue. But with so many unknowns with this virus, I’m more cautious. So, after a month in my apt near nyc (where the population is so dense), I went to stay with my parents in the suburbs. I feel grateful to have better access to grocery delivery & space to walk. However, I miss my life, my apt, and my independence.

    I’d like to keep daily walks, cooking more, and chatting with friends more frequently.

    We will get through this!

    • Hi Jessica,
      Thanks for sharing! Yes dating is just going to be so hard for a while. I’m really leaning into that cat mom life. I’m glad you are with your family and safe!! We will get through it! x

  41. Elisse says 4.30.20

    Life will change in a permanent way. It’s crazy to think that before 9/11 you could bring basically any liquids on a plane and TSA didn’t even really exist, because now we’re all so used to the 3 ounce rule and the strict TSA guidelines. Same with COVID, things will change.. maybe wearing face masks will remain something routine that people do in crowded areas. Love your blog and thinking of you

  42. julesindallasreads says 4.30.20

    I love this lost and feel many of the same feelings!

  43. Angela says 4.30.20

    This post is so on point with our country and life. Thank you for writing it out. My hours have increased significantly in the pandemic. I am in banking and WFH has become work from the time I get out of bed to the time I back to bed. I hope to set some boundaries in the coming weeks. We are all figuring out the new normal and I find myself calling my friends for a quick 5 minute mental break. I really like the voice calls versus texts. I plan to continue these as they are so much more personal.

    • Ugh I feel you; I have been so bad with boundaries. Since I’m just home all day I find myself constantly thinking of more things I can work on with the blog, etc… and find myself working til bedtime! I think I’m going to start an art project or two this weekend and make that my evening thing!

  44. Jordan says 5.1.20

    Can I just say…I LOVE a blog that actually has blogs! So well written, relatable and a refreshing read. We’re starting phase 1 of reopening the economy here in Texas tomorrow and my thoughts, emotions, and small business stresses are all over the place!

  45. Cassidi says 5.1.20

    This is such a great post and something that has been on my mind as well.
    Like you said, my at home beauty routine has become something I look forward to nightly and I also realize I can do a lot more at home. I gave myself a gel mani and pedi (with the light and all) at home last night! I’m wearing less makeup, and I’m loving the convenience of working out at home when I want. Plus, my two cats are thrilled we’re home more!

    Returning to what our normal life used to look like seems very out of reach right now, but I am finding so many unexpected positives during this time as well.

    • I’m so impressed by the at home gel manicures (and PEDICURES!) wow. Cannot tell if my cat is happy or sad that I’m home more. His moods seem to vary on a daily basis 🙂

  46. Wendy says 5.1.20

    Thank you for this! I appreciate your candor about the PR package piece. It sounds frustrating and maddening, it is also, as you said, so very wasteful! As a consumer, it is frustrating to see influencer receiving freebies that seem very off-brand and know it’s getting tossed out or given away. I work in higher education, and working from home has been interesting, I would dislike working from home all the time in this field, but this does show that we can have a more flexible work schedule to allow for some working from home. The field of higher education will certainly change, and hopefully some of that will be for the better, but not to the detriment of the student experience. My work involves travel for both myself and my students, and I worry we won’t be able to send them abroad for months or a year. I long to travel again but also feel uncomfortable with the idea of doing so. This has also made me rethink on what and where I spend my money. I’m trying to patronize the local market, local restaurants offering take out, and ordered from some of my fave small shops instead. Dang I miss my fun clothes but also I do not need more.

    • Thanks for sharing! It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how this affects all different fields; especially with working from home and being more flexible. My sister is a college professor and it’s been interesting to see how it affects her job.

  47. Aly says 5.3.20

    The weirdest for me has definitely been having dreams where people are not social distancing and getting anxious and upset in the dream! Why am I at a stadium concert!?!? Why am I at an alumni school event?! Why am I at a resort swimming pool!? It’s so odd, our brains are definitely rewiring.

    • Hahahahah I can relate. I had a terrible dream where I was not social distancing, and had to hide it from social media, lol.

  48. Amy Sutton says 5.5.20

    Very nice ramblings and an enjoyable read!

  49. Lo says 5.5.20

    Reading this (and the comments) was such a good way to start my day. I felt myself release so much of the tension I’m holding on to and was reminded that this is unchartered territory for all of us and we are all trying to navigate what comes next. When I think about all the things I can’t wait for (dinner and cocktails at a favourite restaurant, a quiet coffee on the back porch of my parent’s house, a hug from my mom and dad, being close to the ocean again), I catch myself wondering when will I feel safe doing those things again? Just because regulations in some places are evolving, doesn’t mean I safe, but it makes it harder at times to stick to what I know I need to do.

    Whenever we are on the other side of this, there are some parts I hope stay in our new normal, like being more intentional with our time and money and my morning coffees on my balcony. I hope we continue to see the value of working from home-I work in a very traditional workplace and previously most people scoffed at the idea of teleworking, but seeing them get on board gives me hope for the diversity we might be able to bring in going forward. I also think that this has brought to light so many fracture lines and I don’t want to forget about them after this. I hope that we continue to value the work of cashiers, sanitation workers, the postal service, and other frontline workers and to advocate for fair wages for them. I hope that long term, we continue to talk about ways we can strengthen social safety nets and build more resilient health care systems. Some days thinking that far ahead feels daunting, so I put on my face mask, go for a walk and I remind myself I can only control what I am doing in this moment. This was long and rambling reply but this post made me think a lot and articulated so much of the mental gymnastics I’ve been doing over the past few weeks, it was so nice to be reminded that we’re all working our way through this.

  50. Shannon says 5.6.20

    Thanks for this, Grace. I am struggling because although I am a liberal and think Trump is a piece of trash, I also don’t think the vast-reaching economic and mental breakdown has been weighed with the response to this. I agreed with the lockdown at first but continuing it with new numbers and information coming out is insane. (See – France having at least two confirmed cases in December, which means it has been spreading since then.) I am happy to see more mainstream press reporting more researched numbers and – the fact is that the vast majority of people survive and have mild or no symptoms. Travel bans don’t work. School closures have a very minor, if any, effect. It worries me that Trump will be reelected because of this – more people agree with me than are saying. I personally won’t have any problem getting on a plane, going to a packed restaurant, or getting on a packed subway. I ALWAYS hated people coughing and sneezing near me. COVID doesn’t change that. The fear is kind of unbelievable…but I know it is different if you know someone who died from it or if you’re in New York now, where I used to live.

  51. Elizabeth says 5.21.20

    About your hair. So maybe this will sound crazy, but hear me out. I’ve got similar hair texture–its kind of curly/wavy and really dry and frizzy, regardless of what conditioner/hair mask/nourishing shampoo I’m using. And then… I just stopped washing it. I’ve had friends do this before (mostly people who live a zero-waste lifestyle or those with platinum or very heavily processed hair), so it wasn’t totally random on my end. I figured quarantine would be a good time to try, since I’ve heard it can take a while for your scalp and hair to adjust. I still rise it and condition it every 2-3 days, but have stopped using shampoo completely. And OMG the frizz is DONE, GONE, POOF! It took about a month for it to look “normal” and not super greasy, but now its so much prettier looking. My hair isn’t frizzy anymore; it dries naturally in soft waves and almost looks like I’ve curled it. I use a boar bristle brush to help distribute the oil from my scalp to the ends of my hair. I don’t even need a leave in conditioner or frizz serum anymore. Seriously, the best thing I’ve done while in quarantine.