The pandemic started changing things in 2020. So when a Reddit user asked, “What hasn’t gone back to normal yet?” it hit home. People shared what hasn’t been the same since COVID. Here’s some examples:

1. Poor Customer Service Remains an Issue Post-Pandemic

Customer service still hasn’t bounced back after COVID. Pharmacy workers are quitting because they’re short-staffed. People wait forever on hold for any kind of phone support. Local restaurants close parts of their business when workers call out sick. One business even outsourced their customer service. The national call center doesn’t know if the business reads their messages. Customer service nowadays is frustrating.

2. Prices Keep Spiraling Up Post-Pandemic

Prices for stuff have skyrocketed. Things cost double or triple what they did a couple years ago. It started with “supply chain issues.” But companies realized they could charge more. So prices just keep rising. As one Redditor said, the cost of everything has “gone insane.” And another pointed out, companies can get away with it. So don’t expect lower prices anytime soon.

3. Flying Isn’t What It Used To Be

Airline travel has changed. Prices, schedules, number of flights – it’s all different now. Upgrades are crazy expensive. One pregnant woman wanted to upgrade to business class for a New York to Tokyo trip. Economy was $3,000 per person. Business class for the same flight was $15,000! As she said, the upgrade pricing is insane nowadays.

4. Our Sense of Time Got Disrupted

Many people feel disoriented time-wise after the pandemic. It’s like years went missing. As one Redditor put it, their “timeline” feels messed up. Another agreed, saying they mix up whether things happened in 2021 or 2022. Unless it was a huge event, those years blur together now. COVID really distorted people’s sense of time passing.

5. Late Night Shopping and Dining Disappeared

There used to be way more 24-hour stores and restaurants. But since COVID, those options dwindled. One Redditor was surprised when their local Walmart started closing at 11 pm. They never used to shop late at night, but knew Walmarts were always open 24/7. It’s a big change not having those late night shopping and dining choices anymore. As they put it, there are probably less than half the number of 24-hour businesses compared to before.

6. Pandemic Fueled Worrisome Public Behavior

Many feel public behavior deteriorated during COVID – and it’s not bouncing back. As one Redditor put it, people became “truly unhinged” and it’s not slowing down. Another agreed, sharing how folks snap for no reason now. Grocery shopping feels aggressive with people ramming carts. Drivers try running you off roads in pandemic fueled rage.

This unnerving conduct makes being out in public uncomfortable. There’s a constant wariness about who will “lose it” next. The pandemic clearly changed people’s behavior, creating a tense and troubling environment.

7. The Used Car Market Remains Wild

Used car prices have stayed sky-high after the pandemic. As one Redditor said, it’s “insane” now. They needed to buy their daughter a used car but balked at spending $10,000 for one with 150,000 miles. That’s an outrageous asking price. Yet it’s the new reality of the used car market these days. Prices remain exponentially higher than before COVID. People desperately need vehicles, so sellers are taking full advantage. For buyers, it’s an endlessly frustrating situation.

8. Kids Experienced Lasting Impacts from the Pandemic

Many children returned to school changed after COVID lockdowns. As teachers describe, they seem different now, and often not in good ways. The pandemic and isolation clearly inflicted trauma. As one Redditor explained, telling kids “someone will die if you see friends” while cramming them into crowded classrooms was damaging.

Yet society has glossed over these struggles. Plus, teaching reached a breaking point amid lack of support. Educators feel unable to meet expectations. After decades of disrespect for education, we’re seeing the consequences. Thankfully, younger students just starting school seem less affected. But helping pandemic-scarred kids will require acknowledging the trauma and providing resources. Their struggles continue even if society pretends otherwise.

9. Lack of Fitting Rooms Creates Shopping Challenges

Many stores closed their fitting rooms during COVID – and never reopened them. Instead, they ripped them out completely. This makes buying clothes really tough. Brand sizes vary so widely, people need to try things on before purchasing. As one Redditor vents, not having fitting rooms is a major hassle.

It’s especially problematic for women’s clothing with inconsistent sizing. One woman shared how she wears every shirt size from small to XL depending on the brand. With no way to test the fit, shopping becomes guesswork. Stores need to bring back fitting rooms. Shoppers want to know what they’re buying, not gamble on ill-fitting clothes.

10. Pandemic Isolation Strained Social Connections

COVID took a toll on friendships and relationships. People want to spend time together again but feel drained and disconnected after so much isolation. As one Redditor described, there’s a collective exhaustion – we’re just tired. Another lamented feeling more isolated than ever pre-pandemic. Friends used to always be around.

Now it takes real effort to socialize again. We’ve found ways to cope alone, making reconnecting challenging. But deep down, people miss the close bonds and companionship they used to enjoy. Healing these frayed relationships will require energy and understanding after so much enforced distance. With care, those social connections can be restored in time.

11. Doctor Appointments Remain Hard to Get

Scheduling a doctor’s appointment is still a struggle after COVID. What infuriates people is you can only get in if you’re NOT sick. As one frustrated Redditor pointed out, it’s impossible to see a doctor when you actually need one. The pandemic exacerbated strains on healthcare access. With doctor shortages and overwhelmed facilities, getting care in a timely manner has become extremely difficult. Patients wind up putting off treatment or turn to overburdened emergency rooms. Medical providers need more resources and staffing to meet community needs. Until then, this broken healthcare system will continue failing the sick.

12. The Pandemic Took a Toll on Mental Health

Many people are still struggling with their mental health after the pandemic. As one Redditor put it simply, “My mental health” hasn’t bounced back. Another expressed frustration that some don’t acknowledge these ongoing issues. When they try to bring it up, people act like they’re being dramatic.

But the trauma of the pandemic – isolation, fear, uncertainty – inflicted real emotional damage. Anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders spiked. For many, the scars remain, even as society rushes back to “normal.” Recognition and compassion are needed, not dismissal. The pandemic’s mental health impacts were profound and widespread. They will take time and care to heal.

13. Pandemic Habits Worsened Traffic Congestion

Traffic is terrible nowadays, all day Monday through Friday. As one Redditor observed, people’s phone addictions have escalated dramatically post-pandemic. This distracted driving likely contributes to the constant gridlock. Drivers are endlessly scrolling social media without realizing it, too absorbed to properly focus on the road. Multi-tasking behind the wheel inevitably leads to delayed reactions, sudden stops, and accidents. All of which snarls traffic flow. We took our cars for granted during lockdowns. But unhealthy overuse of phones while driving has made rush hour a nightmare again in many cities. Breaking these habits will require awareness and self-control. For now, leave extra time for commutes.

14. Self-Serve Restaurants Struggling to Recover

Buffets and other self-serve dining options remain few and far between post-pandemic. As one Redditor lamented simply, “Buffets” have not bounced back. Another missed the variety of cheap KFC buffets – piling their plate high with fried chicken, biscuits, potatoes, gravy, and other favorites. That carefree, communal style of dining feels like a relic now. Customers grabbing shared utensils at salad bars or sneeze guards over steam trays seem outdated. Some buffet chains filed for bankruptcy amid closures. Others evolved to cafeteria-style for safety. With germ concerns persisting, all-you-can-eat likely won’t return anytime soon. Those craving an affordable feast of comfort food will have to savor the memories.

15. Housing Prices Remain Out of Reach for Many

The real estate market is still red-hot after the frenzy of the pandemic. As one Redditor shared, they bought their townhouse for $150,000 in 2014. Today, similar units on their street are selling for over $350,000. It’s outrageous price inflation. They feel lucky to have a low mortgage. But it’s upsetting to see friends struggle to buy homes now. And they can’t move either since other houses cost so much more.

For many Americans, the dream of homeownership feels increasingly out of reach. Bidding wars and all-cash offers price regular buyers out of the market. While current homeowners gained equity, first-timers face huge hurdles. Wages haven’t kept pace with exploding housing costs. As inventory remains low, prices stay high. Until more affordable supply comes online, the housing crisis persists despite interest rate hikes. People need policy changes to make buying attainable again.

16. RSVP Flakiness Persists Post-Pandemic

It seems flaking on commitments has become more commonplace since COVID disrupted lives. Understandably, people missed events while ill or protecting health. Canceling with notice was reasonable then. But this created an expectation that it’s now okay to simply not show up for any reason, without communicating.

While committing to less is wise, bailing without notice remains inconsiderate. Others may spend money or rely on your presence. As one Redditor explained, pre-pandemic flakiness was rude. COVID necessitated some cancellations, but flaking for no good reason still disappoints people counting on you.

Reengaging socially requires thoughtfulness. If you’ve RSVPed, make every effort to honor the commitment. Communicate promptly if unable to attend. Respect people’s time and expenses. With care, we can rebuild connections while ending pandemic-era flakiness.

17. QR Menus Overstayed Their Welcome

Many restaurants implemented QR code menus during the pandemic, but diners seem ready to ditch them. As one Redditor declared, “I hate QR menus.” The codes sometimes malfunction and ruin the dining experience. One patron visited a QR menu restaurant with no cell service and couldn’t access the menu online. Asking for a paper version, they were informed none existed. Nor could they connect to Wi-Fi.

While initially intended to minimize contact, for many QR menus now frustrate more than help. They assume universal smartphone access – which isn’t realistic. And fumbling with glitchy codes disrupts dining flow. Though some restaurants integrated them seamlessly, others implemented QR poorly. With COVID concerns abating, eateries should rethink this tech. Sometimes simpler is better. Paper menus have worked for decades. For many patrons, QR represents an annoying novelty, not an upgrade. It’s time to discard this failed experiment.

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