Two years into the pandemic, ‘little treats’ are serving to folks address large existential issues.


Today, every time Jules Zucker has to run an errand, she throws a Reese’s Quick Break sweet bar into her bag.

“We’re dwelling in an period the place safety and ‘the massive joys,’ if you’ll, are usually not assured in any respect,” she mentioned. “So all now we have to fall again on are small comforts. It’s nearly like a poor man’s hedonism.”

Ms. Zucker, a 26-year-old music coordinator dwelling in Brooklyn, is simply one of many many individuals who’ve been reimagining their lives to incorporate extra small pleasures after two years of canceled plans and lowered expectations all through the coronavirus pandemic.

Tracy Llanera, 35, a philosophy professor on the College of Connecticut who research nihilism, mentioned that this treat-forward strategy is a technique individuals are reclaiming a few of the freedom and stability that has been misplaced since early 2020.

“Within the Covid pandemic, the factor that confirms that you simply’re affected by existential nihilism is the shortage of management,” Ms. Llanera mentioned.

Amid these emotions of ongoing helplessness and grief, she mentioned, folks attempt to discover constant and dependable pleasures.

“One thing about deal with tradition is that you simply’re at all times usually going to get the deal with,” she added. “You possibly can depend upon that, a minimum of. There’s a assure that this small little ritual that you’ve got each week will a minimum of satiate one thing in you.”

And although the pandemic has altered folks’s spending and saving habits, it has additionally inspired folks to redefine what a deal with means for themselves extra usually and extra creatively. Each day walks, for instance, have turn into a coping mechanism for a lot of employees who not commute to the workplace.

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