Introducing the Virtual Pandemic Time Capsule

Will Leitch
4 min readNov 11, 2020
Dangit, Zoom!

The potentially wonderful news Monday that a Covid-19 vaccine could be coming as soon as later this year, with widespread (if awfully complicated!) deployment as early as spring, served as a reminder of a mantra we all told ourselves at the beginning of the pandemic but have largely forgotten in the madness of 2020: This will all end someday. Time may have seemed like it stopped back in March and will never re-start again, but it, in fact, will. You will hug your extended family again. You will go to dinner parties where you meet people you didn’t know beforehand again. You will sit shoulder-to-shoulder with your fellow fans at a football game again. That did not all just go away forever. It’s going to happen again. And it may happen sooner than we might have thought.

Which means that someday, we’re all going to look back at this year, this pandemic, this incredible time, as something that is over. It will be a sad time, full of loss and pain and regret, but as the years go by, the curiosities and peculiarities of the age will fade and become relics … artifacts of a time only partly remembered. We might not look back at all this and chuckle, like remembering when everyone wore Hammer pants. But we will look back and shake our heads, at what we had to live through and what we had to embrace to do so.

Which leads me to a new series here at Medium we’ll be doing once a month until the pandemic is over: The Pandemic Time Capsule. Every month, we’ll look at five things that weren’t a part of our lives before the pandemic, and likely won’t be afterward, but will forever remind us of this period and what it was like to be alive during it. Send me your nominees for the Pandemic Time Capsule at, or just leave them in the Responses. We’ll be back with an another installment next month.

For now, your first five inductees. We’ll be burying this Time Capsule at some point. Here’s what will be in it.

Zoom. It remains one of the most remarkable aspects of the pandemic that, one day, millions of us had never even heard of Zoom, and the next thing you knew our entire professional lives depended on it. Zoom won’t vanish in a post-pandemic world; we will still want the option to have meetings without traveling across the country. But people will go back to offices…

Will Leitch

I write about these tumultuous times 2x a week. Author of five books, including “How Lucky.” NYMag/MLB.. Founder, Deadspin.