Social distancing’s silver lining


Dalgona coffee requires very few ingredients, perhaps one of the reasons for its spike in popularity.

Sascha Harvey, Reporter

The impact of COVID-19 has been overwhelmingly negative. However, some emerging trends have flourished under quarantine. 

Dalgona coffee, or whipped coffee, is the drink taking the internet by storm. Vice referred to it as one of the biggest food trends of the coronavirus pandemic. The coffee drink is prepared by vigorously whipping instant coffee and sugar until a froth is made, and then served over milk. 

Despite its rising popularity in the west, the trend was started by Korean actor Jung Il Woo, who appeared in a TV clip making the whipped drink, also referred to as 400x coffee. The Economic Times said that the drink has been known by many names in India and Pakistan. The beverage is also common in Greece and Libya, where it’s referred to as a frappe or a cappuccino Libyan style, respectively. Whatever its origins, whipped coffee has generated more than 1.4 billion views on TikTok.

Although the world may seem as though its on hold as many businesses are struggling, one market is booming: The jigsaw puzzle industry. Under quarantine, families have turned to jigsaw puzzles as a distraction from the pandemic. Puzzle companies have struggled to keep up with the sudden spike in sales leading to the puzzles being sold out from most providers. Gamemaker Ravensburger sales are up by 370% in recent weeks. North America CEO Filip Francke said that the company reported about seven puzzles sold per minute in 2019, but the average sold is closer to 20 puzzles per minute in 2020.

While people around the world are stuck in their homes in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus, pollution rates and the release of greenhouse gasses have dropped. Although Inger Andersen, chief of the UN Environment Programme, said that this is certainly not a silver lining for the environment, the World Economic Forum hopes that this will be a reminder of mankind’s “dysfunctional” relationship with nature and change civilians’ damaging behaviors in the long run. 

While posting a video of your take on dalgona coffee or struggling through a jigsaw puzzle with your family, make sure to practice social distancing and wash your hands thoroughly.