The VICE Guide to Right Now

Dumbbells and Bidets: A List of Unexpectedly Popular Things During Quarantine

Are you guilty of adding these to your cart too?
(L) Photo by Yulissa Tagle on Unsplash. (R) Photo from Wikimedia Commons (public domain).

Everyone’s coping with home quarantine in their own way. Some bake, others make fluffy coffee, and yet others get naked for TikTok.

But as people hunker down to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic, we are seeing some common patterns. The list below reveals the products that stay-at-homies are suddenly interested in during self-isolation.

According to data collected in the month of March by trend analyst Glimpse, interest in the products was gauged through "hundreds of millions of consumer behaviour signals from across the web.”


While the data does not seem to differentiate between people searching up an item out of curiosity and those who are actually looking to purchase, the dramatic increase in online attention for certain products is still very telling of the things people have their eyes on while stuck at home.

Some items on the list, like powdered milk and freeze dried food, were pantry staples even before quarantines started, but others are more unexpected.

Can you guess what some of those are?


Image from Statista


dumbbells coronavirus

Photo by Yulissa Tagle on Unsplash

With gyms closed and access to sports facilities limited, people are trying to make the best out of their hampered workout routines with some exercises at home. In response to the new reality of quarantine, workout gurus are coming up with home routines that don’t need much space. Fitness studios are also offering free online classes. While most of these videos require little to no equipment, it looks like a lot of people are looking to up their workouts with weights. According to data gathered by Glimpse, online interest in dumbbells increased by a whopping 725 percent in March alone.

Vitamin C Gummies

There’s still ongoing debate about whether vitamin supplements actually boost immunity against the coronavirus, but it seems like people are erring on the side of caution. Vitamin C is believed to help in maintaining a healthy immune system. It is also water soluble and can be flushed out of our systems pretty easily, which means it can be consumed in high doses without being toxic to the human body. Vitamin C is even used in experimental treatments for some COVID-19 patients in China and the United States. It’s no surprise, then, that people are now interested in it more now. What is surprising, though, is that people are searching specifically for information on Vitamin C gummies. These gummies are candy-like supplements that contain anywhere from 250 to 1,000 mg of the vitamin.


bidet coronavirus

Photo from Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

2020 isn’t even half over, but the toilet paper-pocalypse will probably be the most bewildering event of the year. It has given us hilarious memes, lots of questions, and an acute realisation that we could be better off without toilet paper. Because of this, people are now exploring bidet options to curb their dependence on the bathroom commodity in case the pandemic goes on longer than expected. Bidets were always popular in Asian households but it looks like the rest of the world is finally catching on.


Bread maker

Evident in photos of homemade bread circulating on social media, we all love a hearty loaf and a wholesome internet trend. Some home bakers attribute the popularity of bread-making to a fulfilment of our basic nurturing instinct in response to coronavirus anxieties. The bread-making frenzy has seen flour and yeast running out in some places, but it looks like nothing’s going to stop people from baking up a carby storm in their kitchens.

External monitor and mouse for laptop

mouse laptop coronavirus

People are now telecommuting and learning to make offices out of their homes. Those who are new to this may find themselves in an unmotivated slump, but some people have realised that working remotely is actually pretty good for productivity. Convenient tech products certainly help — the external monitor received 160 percent more attention online, while consumer interest in the laptop mouse increased by 85 percent.

Find Koh Ewe on Instagram.