May 12, 2020

By Nicole Bitette
Sweatpant sales are exploding, people can’t stop buying plants, and there’s a new interview with (a surprised) Carole Baskin.

Culture+ is an editorial series that looks at trending topics and events with an eye toward what they reveal about our shifting culture. The trend this week: Finding Comfort. As some states begin to ease restrictions put in place due to COVID-19, we take a look at ways people are getting accustomed to quarantine or figuring out how to transition out of it.

As some U.S. states, including Georgia and Idaho, reopen non-essential businesses and countries like China and Australia ease social distancing measures, many people still under quarantine are finding ways to create a relaxed, stress-free environment inside their homes.

For many, seeds are the new flour. Animal Crossing is getting more popular by the day, and the concept of wearing regular pants has seemingly gone out the window as the sweatpant market explodes. And, for the millions of viewers who binged Tiger King earlier this year, Carole Baskin did her first interview—but only because she was duped into it.

Here’s a shortlist of content that’s defining the zeitgeist while the culture is in flux:

1. So much Animal Crossing content. This TechCrunch piece breaks down why a video game that puts social connection first is crucial right now. Designers Marc Jacobs and Valentino are infusing the game with their fashion designs. On a more horrifying note, one user turned the happy, light game into a dark horror movie trailer.

2. Need some inspiration for your day-to-day? How about countless YouTube videos that show regular people going through their day—or how-to tasks on subjects like “how to make coffee.” Apparently, that’s exciting for some. These videos, often labeled “with me,” have seen a 600% increase in views since March 13.


3. The only clothing item in demand more than the face mask right now is the sweatpant. Here’s how major brands are trying to keep up with demand and compete with indie retailers.

4. Longing for the trendy, crowded restaurant experience of pre-social distancing days? Enter Bord For En (Table For One), a restaurant in Sweden that serves only one diner at a time.

5. Carole Baskin finally agreed to a major interview on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. However, it turns out, it wasn’t actually a segment on Fallon, but a pair of prankster YouTubers pretending to be from the popular late night show. Either way, Baskin answered all of the duo’s questions.


6. There are apparently two types of people in quarantine: the planters and the bakers. The quarantine garden took off as stay-at-home mandates were put in place and as people try to visit grocery stores less. Just like the shortage of flour, there is also a shortage of seeds as people try to grow their own herbs and produce at home.

7. What on earth did Elon Musk and Grimes name their baby? Elon said the baby boy is named X Æ A-12 Musk, leading the internet to wonder: 1.)How do you pronounce that? 2.) What does it mean? 3.) WHY?

8. Now is the time to find a hobby, at least for some. In the UK, the crafting sector is booming as people turn to making masks for frontline works, knitting their own blankets, and even mending old clothes with their free time.

9. Some people are dying to get back to the office, while others hope to work from home forever. What are the benefits of working from home and how can employers improve the circumstances?

10. This week’s Culture+ recommendation is a thoughtful piece from the New York Times about the new words and phrases that have permeated our vernacular during coronavirus. But, what happens after social distancing is over? The story also links to the updates made by the Oxford English Dictionary related to COVID-19.

Related Articles