covid: a year in memes

A year of covid: the memes and trends through lockdown

It has now been over a year since we all bought too much toilet roll and then hid indoors, and wow, what a year it’s been. Since we’ve never been through anything like this, and last March feels a million miles away now, we thought it was the perfect time for some reflection. So what memes and trends have we gone through and forgotten about through lockdown?

March 2020

March was where it all began, with the year already having been off to a rocky start. We saw chances of a third world war in January, bushfires, and then COVID struck. But when we were all instructed to stay indoors, we were welcomed with open arms by Netflix with the hit crime documentary Tiger King, which came out on 20th March 2020. Yep. A whole year since the madness of Jo Exotic unfurled on our screens.

We then, of course, had Joe Wicks’ PE videos. They were made for kids, but we’d be lying if we said we hadn’t all tried them. Tried, being the important word there. After strenuous workouts (or 5 minutes of giving it a go and then lying on the floor for the other 55), we were all obsessing over Disney+ which arrived in the UK on March 24th. Or we were playing Animal Crossing, which swept the world like a… well, a virus.

Then, of course, when days of AC or working from home were done, we’d celebrate with HouseParty and Zoom, desperately trying to get the energy to find something new to talk about with our friends and family.

April 2020

Eventually we decided screens were controlling our lives, and we began to mass make banana bread, and then post it all over Instagram. Every time. We don’t think anyone will ever want banana bread again after the pandemic. We know we don’t. Although it did go well paired with the boujie frothy iced coffees, which we will still be making after the pandemic.

@mutiarahati99

Friday vibes #dalgonacoffee

♬ original sound – Michal

People started sharing motivational blog style videos on Tik Tok of their days, complete with fancy coffee, a long walk or workout, and some form of meditation. We all swore we’d develop a similar routine, whilst wrapped up in bed in our 3 day old pyjamas and dry shampooed hair. It’s the thought the counts. Right? Maybe you did try out some of the workout challenges, in which case we’re impressed.

@alayaf

I love challenges and I love adding my own twist😅 #plankchallenge #quarantine #lockdown #workout #gharbaithoindia

♬ #PlankChallenge – (Null)

May 2020

In May we saw even more workout challenges, with people making the most of what was the lushest summer weather we may ever have had. Alongside this, we unfortunately saw the losses of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and the BLM movement took over all of our timelines (and rightfully so!). Protests, information and petitions were everywhere, with POC taking the time to make their voices heard.

@gingertherv

Amerikkka #fyp #foryoupage #blacklivesmatter #whiteallies #protest #sayhisname #blacklivesmattermovement #denvercolorado #whitepeople #blm

♬ Childish Gambino – This Is America / Post Malone – Congratulations – carneyval

June 2020

These protests and uproar continued throughout the summer, with more and more nations getting involved. As well as BLM, June saw the disturbing trend of Everything Is Cake. We still have trust issues.

July 2020

It was in July that Kanye West announced his presidential campaign, and the internet lost their minds. Understandably. Nobody took the poor guy seriously. Oh well, what doesn’t kill him makes him stronger.

Meanwhile, over on TikTok, we all got a bizarre Russian Kelloggs advert stuck in our heads. And if you don’t know what we’re talking about, you won’t want to watch the next video – we’ve only just got it out of our heads. Escape whilst you can.

@_awa_de_horchata

Mi😳pan🧟‍♀️su😎su🥳sum😡su👺su☠️su🤒mi😈pan💩yakakus🤖ñam👄ñam🙇🏼ñam

♬ Mi Pan Su Sus – 💍isterika💍✨

August 2020

We were allowed out of our houses in the summer, but it didn’t last long. Maybe it was karma for all the WAP dancing. Or maybe it was Eat Out to Help Out. We’ll never know. Either way, both created some hilarious content. Or terrifying, depending on your opinion of Jack Black.

@jackblack

Challenge accepted

♬ WAP(feat. Megan Thee Stallion) – Cardi B

September 2020

Autumn arrived, and with it, we saw the arrival of the Himbo. What innocent souls. And if that wasn’t enough, we got the hilarious Da Vinky memes.

@vorostwins

DA VINKI #twins #fyp #foryoupage

♬ original sound – vorostwins

Then we got the gift that kept giving – the sheet ghost photo shoots. People were even getting their dogs in on the trend, and we were HERE FOR IT. (p.s – we still are, and hope the trend returns this autumn too) 

@mocachodien

Ghostdog lolll 👻👻👻📸 #ghostphotoshoot #mocachodien #fyp

♬ Oh Klahoma – Jack Stauber

October 2020

The rule of 6, a new lockdown announced, October was when things started going downhill again. However, it did also bring Rethink, Retrain memes, 2 pretty best friends, and the Mike Pence vs Fly memes. We honestly can’t pick a favourite.

November 2020

Not too much happened in November, but we did see Trump lose the election and all the memes that came with it. Plus, over on TikTok, everyone was doing the supermarket date challenge, which is adorable, and a great way to keep the spark when living with your partner during lockdown.

December 2020

December was the time of broken promises. Originally given 5 days of Christmas, the nation got ANGRY at Boris when he took it all back. We suddenly had one day, and none of us were happy about it. We drowned our sorrows and watched far too much Bridgerton to get over it, whilst laughing far too hard at the relatable ‘Don’t worry about what’s in the vaccine if…’ memes.

January 2021

New year.

How refreshing. COVID is a thing of the past, we can all go an- oh. Wait. No. Lockdown 3. Bring on the memes.

There were some good things about January, though. We had the feta pasta recipe that went viral, and has solved our lockdown blues. Plus, the hilarious 4 lads sea shanty meme that confused and entertained everybody, and the Bernie Sanders chair memes that just appeared and wouldn’t go away!

February 2021

February was a short month, and the majority of the memes over here in the UK were filled with hope, dreams, aspirations of a cold pint. That’s right, the June 21st posts. We’re still holding out hope. All we want is an overpriced JD and coke. Is that too much to ask for?

March 2021

And finally, bringing the year – but unfortunately not COVID – to a close, is this month. With April 12th and beer gardens on the horizon, and 50% of all UK adults having had their first vaccination, things are looking significantly better than 365 days ago. Not that you can tell by looking at Prince Philip, though.

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