So, as I said, I’d be talking a lot about how screwed up things are right now. And like, yeah, that’s easy enough to do. But what about the good things that come out of that? If Zoom’s done one good thing, it’s letting people let their guards down.

There was a hot minute back in the spring where everyone had this idea of Business As Usual. You were expected to come into calls dressed up as you would’ve been in real life, and keep all the manners and social norms of that bygone era.

As summer and fall passed, I noticed something: there were fewer and fewer cameras on in Zoom calls. And when they did come on, people were often dressed comfortably, some in pyjamas outright. Our rooms are on display, clean or otherwise. We’re vulnerable, but at some point, our camraderie in this hellish year overcame old world formalities.

I mean, really. I’ve spent the past eight months getting sneak peeks at my profs’ homes and housemates. It’s surreal.

And while I have a whole lot of feelings about whether or not people should be obligated to show themselves like that, one pleasant consequence has been that everyone’s showing off their pets. Sometimes by accident. Many a cat has walked across some unfortunate soul’s keyboard.

As someone with two cats, I’ve been that unfortunate soul many times. But also, it gets a laugh out of people and it’s a nice reminder that there’re still good things in this world.

In fact, sometimes, when I don’t feel up to appearing on camera, I put my laptop on the floor in front of one of my cats. With the seasons changing, they tend to relax in front of space heaters and on top of vents, so they’re great for still footage.

Heck, it’s just nice seeing what people will put on camera in general. Folks get creative! The other day, I was on a call, and when one of my friends went to do something, she put a Kirby plush in her place. It was adorable.

One of these suckers.

Overall, don’t get me wrong, I hate just about everything going on right now, but at least we find things to smile about.