For many of us around the world, the successive periods of lockdown we had to endure during the Covid-19 pandemic led to us picking up new hobbies or returning to older ones. As such, the 2020-2021 period saw an uptick in individuals baking, gardening, completing DIY projects, engaging in arts and crafts and even learning to play an instrument. Pets became big business, as prices for puppies and kittens surged.
In addition to these in-person leisure activities, however, digital pastimes also saw similar upsurges. And the requirement to work and socialise at home meant that more of us than ever spent time browsing Netflix, playing online games with friends and participating in mass Zoom calls.
As restrictions have eased, however, many were predicting that we would return to our old ways, once social distancing and sheltering in-place were no longer in effect. Interestingly, however, this does not appear to have been borne out. And in places such as Wales and Canada, socialising in post-lockdown life appears to have changed in terms of our preferences and the kinds of activities we participate in.
A regular visit to an online casino is one of the activities that many in both Wales and Canada picked up during the pandemic, and this trend has continued its rise in a post-lockdown world. Online casinos and gambling platforms experienced a sharp surge in traffic when lockdown orders first came into effect, and since restrictions have started to ease, mobile video slot sites have continued to grow in popularity.
Similarly, a number of other online activities have maintained their popularity despite official restrictions easing, and again, this has also proved equally true of both Wales and Canada. As such, demand for online services such as online gaming and content streaming have hit all-time highs in both countries.
But post-pandemic life has also seen changes in our in-person socialising, in addition to the time we spend online.
In Wales, for example, there has been a sharp increase in the popularity of caravanning. And despite the fact that caravanning has traditionally been viewed as a pastime favoured by those of an older demographic, who would prefer to stay at home rather than holidaying abroad, recent figures show that Britons of all ages are rediscovering it.
Interestingly, a similar trend can be noted beyond Wales and the UK, with Canadians also turning to their RVs as their preferred vacation mode of transport. As such, recent reporting has noted a clear increase in camper vans and RVs seen across Canada and North America.
Although many thought the “staycation” and campervan trend would be a relic of the Covid era once restrictions eased up and foreign travel was possible once again, it seems that a combination of the ongoing restrictions and uncertainties with international travel and the worsening cost of living crisis has helped to keep it popular.
Other outdoors activities have also experienced growth in both countries. In fact, in both Canada and Wales (as well as the UK more broadly), there has been a significant increase in the popularity of recreational fishing. Sales in tackle and bait shops across the UK have soared, while one Albertan fishing rental company has similarly reported record growth.
In light of all this, it seems that the pandemic has had a tangible impact on how we socialise – both online and in-person – with many of these changes continuing into post-pandemic life. And with cases once again on the rise, we might see more shifts in the near future. What exactly these shifts will look like and how they will shape our social lives, however, remains to be seen.