Chaos has been the theme of 2020. The year started as chaotic, but in a good way: Uncut Gems was released in UK cinemas in January, followed by Netflix’s batshit dating show Love Is Blind in February. But come March, chaos left our screens and landed in our actual lives when coronavirus hit and we entered lockdown.
With a deadly virus on the loose, our day-to-day lives were turned upside down. Toilet roll was scarce and dating apps became the only way to “meet” someone new. Watching videos of yourself pushed up against sweaty strangers at festivals make you feel more nauseous than nostalgic, now that you have to scan a QR code just to enter a shop.
A lot of shit went down over the past 12 months, but what’s the point of living through it if you can’t rank some of stuff that happened, from least to most terrible?
30: THAT SACK OF WET EGGS
29: SIR TOM MOORE
Upsetting to know that a literal 100-year-old man is jet-setting across the world and here you are, reading VICE.com.
28: THE CELEBRITY ‘IMAGINE’ COLLAB
Celebrities singing a John Lennon song in black-and-white, in a sincere attempt to boost morale, is probably one of the most egregious things to have happened during the pandemic. But also, what else would you expect from them?
27: TIKTOK DANCES
Only on this list because I spent a good many hours trying to learn just one and still nothing. So dancing is cancelled.
26: DIY BEAUTY
Watching everyone butcher their boyfriends’ heads with clippers or rip off their acrylics during the first lockdown was a sight to behold. God bless hairdressers and nail salons.
25: DATING APPS
Please, tell me more about how you’re looking for a “QuarantineBae” and how you won’t bring bottles of Corona to our park date.
24: SEX BEING CANCELLED
Remember being able to meet up with someone for the first time, share an awkward first kiss in the bar and then go back to yours in an Uber for slightly disappointing sex? Weird to think that that’s basically illegal now.
23: INSTAGRAM LIVES
Induced by lockdown delirium, everyone from celebrities to people you went to high school with hopped online to talk for hours at a time about nothing at all.
Just one of the many annoying new phrases 2020 blessed us with. Something I can imagine Piers Morgan yelling on Good Morning Britain.
21: THE COVID TEST
Sitting in a carpark, hands slippery with sanitiser, trying to shove a swab down your throat and then ramming it up your nose until it gently pokes your brain.
20: BARS/RESTAURANTS/CLUBS CLOSING FOR GOOD
Your dreams of going back to Efes “when things are normal again” are crushed.
19: TOILET ROLL HOARDERS
Late March was spent walking to the corner shop several times a day to ask the guy behind the counter whether they’ve “got any in yet?” before dropping £5.99 on a 4 pack.
Not problematic in their own right, but being without a garden for the first lockdown was a stark reminder that renting somewhere with no outside space because “you’re never in anyway” was a terrible idea.
17: “THIS IS LIKE AN EPISODE OF ‘BLACK MIRROR’”
It’s really not.
16: THAT JAMES CORDON AND GARY BARLOW SONG
Basically, your uncles got together around a piano to make up a Christmas song and it sounds exactly how you’d expect it to.
15: THE BREAD OBSESSION
When was the last time you baked a loaf? It’s been six months, please check your kitchen cupboards for your forgotten sourdough starter.
14: CLAPPING FOR THE NHS
Do you remember being woken up from a nap by your neighbours exiting their homes just so they could bash a wooden spoon against a pot for ten weeks straight?
13: THE END OF GOING-OUT CLOTHES
Loungewear was crowned king in 2020. But can you imagine the sweet kiss of pulling on a pair of jeans and a nice top again?
12: WATCHING ‘LOVE IS BLIND’
Just ten months ago, the most troubling thing you’d witnessed in your life was Jessica feeding her dog wine while discussing her failed relationship with Mark.
11: EVERY RELATIONSHIP BECAME DIFFICULT
It felt like all of your friends hated you and locking down with your girlfriend was a terrible idea.
10: GOING DARK AT 3:39PM
Obviously, Daylight Savings happens every year, but this time it feels like an actual attack. You have to press your face against your SAD lamp just to muster the strength for an evening walk.
9: YOUR WFH SET UP
After ten months of being hunched over your laptop on the sofa for 40 hours a week, your back is probably fucked.
8: “EAT OUT TO HELP OUT”
Literally any other slogan would have been better.
7: ANYONE WHO SAYS THEY’RE THRIVING
See also: self-described introverts who say that they were “made for lockdown” and anyone who promised to write a whole book by the time it was over.
6: THE WAY PEOPLE PRONOUNCE “COVID”
Is it ko-vid or koh-vid?
5: ZOOM QUIZZES
They take up time that could be used napping but I will allow them over the festive period.
When are we going to think of better phrases than “the ongoing situation” or being like, “with everything that’s going on” and simply address the fact that we’re living through a global pandemic. And no, this email does not find me well!
The start of the pandemic was characterised by rabid horniness – some of you even tried to push the lie that Joe Exotic is hot. Then Tory women began referring to Rishi Sunak as “Dishy Rishi”, somehow tricking themselves into believing that a photo of a man wearing grey hoodie was hot. Finally, a simple silver chain briefly elevated a man who looks like most of the boys on your school’s rugby team to God-level hot. Maybe 2021 is the year being horny stops rotting our brains.
It’s hard to think about coming out of all of this and knowing that we won’t have the opportunity to breeze through the EU queue at the airport ever again.
1: THE CONCEPT OF TIME
No days of the week, just vibes.