The New Normal: We Reflect on (Almost) A Year of Pandemic Life


In the words of the ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’, it definitely feels like our lives have been “flipped turned upside down” since a year ago! A lot has changed, as we have had to cope with this ‘new normal’. We asked our hosts to share some of their experiences as we all reflect on the collective challenge of the past year.


Nira Arora:

Q: A book, show, or movie that you’ve really enjoyed this year?

"A show that I became obsessed with Bridgerton, I....uh....only watched it 2 times fully through and then some episodes I watched approximately 5X times over- y’all know which episodes they were ;). I also super enjoyed Never Have I Ever and I’m all caught up on The Crown. A book that I’ve started is called Good Morning, I Love You.  A great way to start the day with positive affirmations."  


Q: How have your kids been handling this? What kinds of things have you been doing together?

"My kids have actually dealt with this quite well.  I’ve been very honest about the responsibility that we have right now to the community.  They are super enjoying the family chill time.  We’ve been talking the kids skiing up to the local mountains such as Grouse and they’ve been loving it.  I used to be a Boarder but now I’m skiing and I’m a super beginner.  My boys are way better than me now!  We’ve also been watching old school movies with them- the classics such as Gremlins, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Top Gun, Goonies- it’s been amazing actually.  With my youngest, who’s 3, it’s been a lot of Frozen, and arts and crafts!"

 "To help the kids out we did it- we got a pandemic puppy!  We adopted a rescue pup from the amazing organization Thank Dog I am Out, her name is Sushi and she has been a blessing for the kids."

Q:  A go-to place in the city that’s helped with getting through the year.

"My go-to place that always helps me get through hard moments is Crescent Beach- the ocean is always my happy place and gives me the perfect reset."


Holly Conway:

Q: A book, show, or movie that you’ve really enjoyed this year?

"I haven't been able to handle watching anything super intense during the pandemic, (because pandemic life is intense enough), so I've been all over trashy realty TV in the past year.  Bachelor, Bachelorette, Too Hot Too  Handle and the best one, Love Island UK!" 

Q: How have your kids been handling this?

"The best thing to come out of the pandemic by far is the bond our two little boys have made with each other.  They're 5 1/2 and 2 1/2 and it's been very cute watching them get closer and play together more and make each other laugh." 

Q:  A go-to place in the city that’s helped with getting through the year.

"We're lucky enough to live on the North Shore so we've been spending even more time outside in nature. Rain, snow, slush, we get all our gear on and head out for fresh air- it always helps!" 


Jonny Staub:

"My boyfriend and I go for lots of walks with our dogs, and also started a 1000 piece puzzle!”

Amy Spencer:

“My go to activity over the past year has been: getting outside, in any way I can. Beaches, hikes on the North Shore, walks along the sea wall. After spending a winter in Edmonton, I am forever thankful to be living somewhere where I can go outside in February. Plus downtown living doesn't necessarily mean living in a concrete jungle!

I also Facetime my family at least once a week, and we do a virtual games night. I definitely spend 80% more time on the phone these days talking to my friends. My go to comfort food over the past few months has been ramen. Shoutout to Jinya Ramen Bar-their spicy chicken ramen is keeping me going.”

Ari Daniel:

“Before the pandemic, I merely tolerated running. Now I love it! In fact, it’s been my ‘go-to’ coping strategy during the pandemic.  It’s perfect because I can run anytime, anywhere! Sure, it’s rainy and snowy sometimes…BUT THAT’S PART OF THE GLORY OF IT.  I get to say “wow, I just willingly put myself through that,” so I can at least FEEL like I’m hardcore ;)”

Brooklyn Driediger:

“I have become a big bath taker! CBD, bath bombs and my fave podcasts really help me to unwind. As well as working out…luckily, my gym is still open. That has been an awesome way to distress and stay healthy during this pandemic. I live in the tri-cities….going for nature walks and soaking up my surroundings (when it isn’t raining or snowing) really helps. Checking out local coffee shops or just having a coffee on my patio helps.

My ultimate comfort food is soup or a salad paired with a good hearty sandwich! I don’t drink too much but a glass of wine is nice once a week. Other wise I really enjoy my morning coffee!”

Angelina Rai:

“Can’t believe it’s been a year! However, some good has come out of the pandemic. I’ve learnt to slow down and really enjoy the things and people I love.  And one of those things is cooking!

When you take the time (which we seem to have a lot more of) to make a meal with a lot of love it turns out exceptionally better. Seriously, pour the wine, play the music, light the candles and let it simmer, simmer, simmer. The dish you create will be so rewarding, healthier than eating out and delicious. Oh and there’s leftovers!”

The past year has been full of challenges. It feels like even getting out of bed in the morning is an accomplishment, and that’s because it is! We hope you’re staying safe and coping through these times.

Sending you a big ‘social distance’ hug from everyone at Virgin Radio Vancouver!