COVID culture: Which zoom student are you?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have slowly seen a COVID Culture come to life. A key aspect of this new way of life is Zoom meetings, which ha...
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have slowly seen a COVID Culture come to life. A key aspect of this new way of life is Zoom meetings, which has been a strange new experience for all of us. There are so many types of Zoom students, but which one are you?

The icebreaker

Easily the most important member of the class. There’s absolutely nothing worse than when the tutor puts a question to the group, but ten seconds of awkward silence ensues as no one knows the answer, or simply not brave enough to turn on their mic. But then, luckily the icebreaker steps in to save the day, knowing just what to say to keep the class flowing.

The virtual background maestro

There’s always one. Every class has that one meme expert who finds new ways to raise the tutor’s eyebrow every lesson with comical, virtual backgrounds. Some personal favourites of mine include The Office interview room and the distracted boyfriend meme.

The slow wi-fi victim

This one is always painful to watch. Their camera lags, their microphone cuts out, their voice begins to sound like a robot. It’s worse when the tutor’s connection is poor, and no one has the guts to say anything, so the class just sit in silence *queue the crickets*.

The ghost

One of the greatest mysteries in every class. A student who is there, but both their camera and microphone is turned off. To top it off, there is no profile picture. They’re just a name, or sometimes only an initial, lurking in the shadows.

The late riser

I think we’ve all been there at least once or twice (or a few times). You were up late last night smashing out assignments and now have an early morning class. You set yourself ten alarms but that’s still not enough to get you up. So, you attend class laying in the comfort of your sheets while rocking your best bed hair and pyjamas.

The foodie

Comparable to that one person who brings hot chips on a train carriage. Every now and then you’ll be sitting in a Zoom class, starving as you think about what you’ll be eating afterwards. Then, to rub salt in the wounds, another student unashamedly whips out a gourmet lunch. Just cruel.

The early bird

There’s nothing quite as nerve-racking as when you jump onto your Zoom tutorial a bit earlier for a change and no one else has signed in yet. You are overcome with questions and self-doubt. “Do we have a week off? Did I click the wrong link?” But then relief washes over you as the early bird swoops in to ease your nerves.

The pet parent

An absolute must for brightening the mood in a long, early morning lecture. It’s just so wholesome when a class is interrupted by a dog or a cat curling up next to a student mid-class. “Hey mum, can I do a Zoom with you?”


Love in the time of Corona

Love finds a way even in the most hopeless of times....
COVID-19 has us cooped up in our homes and isolated from our loved ones. Restaurants are closed and the malls are deserted. It would seem we have lost to an unseen enemy. But love finds a way even in the most hopeless of times. Here are seven date ideas to explore with your boo, bae or significant other and keep the spark alive.


#1. Keep it classy with a candle-lit dinner on Zoom

Missing the fancy, dimly-lit, romantic ambience of a restaurant? We’ve got you covered. Utilise the time in isolation to brush up on your culinary skill. Find a recipe you both like and get cooking. Update your partner in real time so it feels like they are right there with you. Top off the dish with a good selection of drinks and have Spotify serenade you as you feast.

As a cherry on top, dress up in that black suit/gown that has been collecting dust awaiting a special occasion. Good food, fantastic music and top notch fashion – you have got yourself the five-star treatment.

But if all you can manage is the same old two minute ramenin your sweats, go for it. Your love alone will make this dish extra tasty.


#2. Re-create the cinema with Netflix party

Netflix party is a Google Chrome extension that lets you sync up your movie viewing experience. Netflix made it for friends to chill in a chatroom and watch movies but no reason it cannot be your post-dinner rom-com essential.

Install Netflix party from their official website and add it to Chrome as an extension. Select a movie from Netflix and click the “NP” button next to the address bar. You can send the link of the party to your partner and allow them access so that they too can pause/start and tweak the viewing at their discretion.

Recreate those unpredictable bathroom breaks and random snack cravings and let them know that you wish you were sharing the dip with them. Don’t let the ‘rona stop you cinephiles!


#3. Hop on a (virtual) tour around the world

Planning a trip takes ages. Saving for it takes even longer. Just when you have battled time and finances to book that trip to Europe, the pandemic makes travelling to the local grocery store a luxury.

But we have found the next best thing with virtual tours of the most alluring overseas destinations. If you’re feeling artsy then get to the Louvre or the British Museum.

Missing furry friends? Make sure you say hello to the dolphins at the National Aquarium at Baltimore.

If you are in the mood to relive your childhood magic, we have scored some tickets to Disney World at various American tourist hotspots too.


#4. Lets’ get physical and work out together

A healthy mind resides in a healthy body. As the isolation blues kick in, stretch those muscles and get the dopamine flowing.

Make your partner your workout buddy. Wake each other up early and turn on the webcam. Put on the hottest tracks to get your blood flowing.

Just do light exercises and stretches so that injuries can be avoided. The goal is to get energised not fatigued.

If you feel like it, top it off with a meditation session because your mental health is just as important as your physical health.


#5. Let the games begin with online game night

If the government is telling us to stay at home then we have more of a reason than ever to indulge in our favourite video games, right?

For those with a Nintendo Switch, the game Animal Crossing provides the most wholesome couple experiences. Build up your island, trade with your partner and go on dates under the starry night.

You could go on an adventure on Minecraft or just get competitive on FIFA. But if you just want some good old board games online then there are plenty of options available.    

#6. Give in to the TikTok madness

You have probably seen the trends. You have definitely had an opinion. Whether you hate it or love it, you definitely cannot escape it. Yes, it is the increasingly popular social media platform TikTok.

TikTok is an excellent platform to collaborate and take part in the hundreds of couple trends that go on. You can #FlipTheSwitch to be silly or get fit with the #PlankChallenge.

Maybe this lockdown will make you the next big TikTok star – or just get creative and improvise scenarios to the adulation of new-found fans. Just download it from Google Play or your App Store and enter the vortex that is TikTok.

#7. Look back with a shared Instagram page 

This is the perfect time to open a joint Instagram account. As cheesy as it sounds, Instagram posts are an amazing way to journal your days in lockdown.

Post a screenshot of your zoom date. Put up your dishes in the stories. Link your TikTok shenanigans to IGTV. Upload covers of the books you are reading. Just journal your days and look back when this is over and we’re all breathing the fresh summer air.

If you’ve braved the isolation and the distance and come out stronger together, you’re prepared to weather any storm together.