5G towers burned for “causing COVID symptoms”
As a conspiracy theory spread that it was 5G that was causing COVID-19, arsonists set fire to dozens of 5G cell towers in the UK, leading the WHO to publicly “mythbust” the idea.
Business Insider, WHO
Toilet paper became more precious than gold
As lockdowns came into force around the world, the global population knew exactly what they needed to do. Yes, that’s right, invest in toilet paper!
Zoom stopped businesspeople caring about pants
With the shift to remote working, businesspeople relying on Zoom cared a lot less about the half you don’t see on camera, resulting in plummeting sales of pants (trousers).
Disney+ enjoyed lockdown bonanza in Europe
With perfect timing, Disney+ launched in Europe just in time to help parents “homeschool” their children. Within a month it was responsible for 7 Exabytes of additional data on mobile networks.
Video games officially became good for you
12 months after adding ‘gaming disorder’ to its list of addictive behaviors, the World Health Organization officially recommended video games to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Facemasks led to global slump in lipstick sales
When people can’t see your lips, what’s the point of lipstick? That’s what millions of lipstick-wearers asked themselves, as sales dropped 11%. Meanwhile, eye makeup – in particular, mascara - is booming.
Mobile industry denied annual pilgrimage
100,000+ mobile industry execs worldwide were left with an MWC-shaped hole in their lives this year. Love it or hate it, this was the first cancellation in 33 years, since the ‘GSM World Congress’ was first held in 1987.
Businesspeople waved goodbye to the handshake
The 2,500-year old practice of greeting people by shaking hands was virtually wiped out by the virus. The new contenders are head nods, waves and the still-weird elbow bumps.
Wall Street Journal
Monkeys stole COVID blood samples and took them up a tree
In the category of “you couldn’t make it up”, monkeys broke into a research lab in India and made off with positive COVID blood samples. Video emerged of a monkey with the samples up a nearby tree.
Bicycles crossed off the Christmas list this year
With gyms closed, people were forced to exercise at home. Consumers turned to pedal power as worldwide demand for bicycles surged 650%, leading to a global shortage of bicycles for Christmas.
Lockdowns got us watching TV for 6.5 hours a day
During lockdowns, adults spent 6.5 hours on average watching TV and online video each day, with a 71% surge in video streaming viewing compared to 2019. Meanwhile 15 million new subscribers signed up to Netflix in April, May & June.
And we learnt LOTS of new words in this “unprecedented year”!
The dictionaries of the world were hastily updated to reflect “the new normal” language we have suddenly grown accustomed to!