DISCLAIMER: This is a satirical piece. It does not necessarily represent the views of the Exponent or its writers and should not be construed as truth.

On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization released a statement officially declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, and boy am I grateful for that! The coronavirus has made the past year one of the best ones yet, no doubt about it.

Some people hold a different perspective and describe the past year by asking, “How could it get any worse?” Well, “Boo hoo” is how I respond to that. The past 12 months have been epic, exciting, exhilarating, relaxing and every other positive adjective out there.

First, when the dining halls switched away from self-service, the lives of students living on campus became that much easier. Honestly, who wants to go to lunch straight after class and have to scoop their own food and determine their portion sizes? It’s so much easier to have our meals served to us — that way all we have to do is choose what we want, sit down and shove our faces with as much food as possible between classes, exams, recorded lectures and homework. 

Since the pandemic began, there have been more excuses to play video games and watch movies for hours on end. Nothing else has been going on, so why not expose our eyeballs to the oh-so-healthy blue light radiating from our screens for 22 hours a day? Plus, it has been much easier to bail on social plans and bask in the glory of eating popcorn and watching rom-coms in solitude by saying, “I do not want to increase my chances of getting the virus.” We have also been saved from having to listen to couples confess their love for each other on date night, since restaurant tables have been spaced out, and can even justify excessively ordering take out by saying we are supporting local businesses.

Ever since this “COVID-19” thing became so serious, school has been so much better. There has been no elbow bumping in crowded lecture halls while nervous freshmen frantically take notes. We haven’t had to deal with awkward waves to people we kind of know (but don’t really know) while walking between classes, because nobody can tell who anyone is with a mask on. Best of all, the doors to the library bathrooms always remain open to minimize contact surfaces, which saves already fatigued and sleep-deprived students from exerting extra energy to lug a door open every time we have to relieve ourselves. 

Another unforeseen benefit of the pandemic? Our nation is completely prepared for a zombie apocalypse. When toilet paper was nowhere to be found and store shelves appeared empty, we were unknowingly stocking up on the exact “essential items” needed for weeks of lockdown that will occur should we ever experience a zombie apocalypse. Now, there won’t be as much fear if we ever have to lock ourselves inside due to a dangerous species or unnatural event because, well, it will not be our first rodeo. COVID-19 has also provided us with stories and experiences that will make us seem uber-cool in the eyes of our future kids and grandkids. Imagine the thoughts and feelings they would have hearing, “When I was your age, everyone had to wear masks and I had to stay inside for almost a year.”

Two more of the pandemic’s byproducts that have been absolutely killer are that masks have saved us from having to worry too much about our facial expressions or appearance and we have finally been able to work and attend school in our pajamas or underwear, with no repercussions. It’s been so nice, and overdue, to be able to react to conversations with expressions that are completely invisible to the rest of the group.

The past year has been so fun and has provided us with opportunities to enjoy things that we’ve always wanted to do, but have never been able to justify. All this talk about wanting to go back to “normal,” remove mask requirements and be in public spaces filled to full capacity is just crazy. COVID-19 has made this the best year of our lives and we should all be grateful for the aspects of life that have changed before we have to go back to smelling others’ breath and follow through with social commitments.