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2020 has been, for lack of a better word, an unprecedented year. The coronavirus pandemic took hold in March and we’ve been grappling with it ever since — and will likely continue to for some time. From working remotely to quarantine orders, we all respond differently to the drastic changes in our world.

But have you ever thought about how, say, Leslie Knope would handle being socially isolated? Or how Schmidt would navigate direct threats to the sanitation of his home? In the hopes of serving as a nice little distraction from the challenges we’ve faced this year, I invite you to imagine how some of the most beloved TV characters would react to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Parks & Rec

An image of the cast of "Parks and Rec"

Chris Haston / NBCU Photo Bank / Getty Images

Leslie would create a COVID-19 task force within the Parks Department to contribute to Pawnee’s efforts to manage the pandemic. No one has asked her to do this. In fact, she explicitly has been told not to, but working remotely is driving Leslie mad and she does whatever she can to interact with her coworkers as often as possible. She forces everyone to turn on their cameras in every single staff meeting.

Ron does not have a home computer and is not interested in getting one. He quits the Parks Department and lives in a remote cabin for the entirety of the pandemic.

Ann is working around the clock in a COVID unit and has barely had time to eat or sleep. Leslie leaves a care package on her front stoop every single day.

Tom launches video conferencing app Schwoom, which he claims is a “sexier” version of Zoom, where you can chat randomly with people in your area. After pouring $25,000 into the business, he realizes that this exists already, it’s called Omeagle.

Donna retires early and moves to Jamaica.

Andy participates in a COVID-19 vaccine trial because they provide free lunches.

April volunteers to inject people with the vaccines, but is denied for obvious reasons.

Chris buys a Peloton. Because the lack of socialization has caused him to fall into a depression, he only bikes 359 milers per day, far below his personal best.

And literally no one knows what Jerry is up to because they forgot he existed. Hope you’re good, Jer!


New Girl

An image of the cast of "New Girl."

Greg Gayne / © Fox / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Jess would be leaning hard into remote teaching, driving herself (and subsequently, her roommates) to the brink of insanity. There would be songs, antics, and of course, questioning her overall purpose as an educator.

Winston would adopt a variety of quirky habits, including, but not limited to: puzzles exclusively for children 3 and up, cross-stitching, and starting a book club with his cat, Ferguson.

Schmidt would positively lose his mind over sanitizing everything. He would don a full hazmat suit anytime he had to leave the apartment and also implement a rigorous cleaning schedule, much to the others’ chagrin.

Nick would barely even know there’s a pandemic going on because he is deep in a “writing hole”, aka unknowingly plagiarizing the entire Harry Potter franchise. He would question the legitimacy of the virus not because he doesn’t believe in science, but because the whole thing “sounds an awful lot like a PR stunt for the next Marvel movie”.

Coach would try (and fail) to get everyone into “quarantine shape”, but eventually give up and succumb to his shared love of dumplings with Nick. He gains 30 pounds.

Cece would flee LA to live in Barbados full-time, never to be heard from again, and would FaceTime into important conversations (and games of True American, of course), thanks to Schmidt.



Chris Haston /© NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection

Jerry takes quarantine extremely seriously and rarely leaves his apartment.

Because Kramer has decided to conduct unlicensed COVID tests out of his home (which Newman illegally procured via the US Postal System), Jerry tells him that they have to be in separate quarantine pods, meaning Kramer can’t burst into his apartment anymore. Kramer takes this personally and gives Jerry the silent treatment for a whole 10 minutes.

George would be laid off and forced to move back in with his parents. Every time he tries to escape back to Manhattan, his mother forces him to wear gloves, two masks, a face shield, and, for reasons she refuses to explain, over-the-knee rain boots.

Elaine throws away all of her work clothes and happily settles into a lifestyle of sweatsuits 24/7, taking Zoom calls from bed, and going weeks without washing her hair. Jerry warns her that she is becoming “undateable” to which she replies: “We’re in a pandemic, Jerry. We’re all undateable.”


How I Met Your Mother

The cast of "How I Met Your Mother" sitting in a booth at a restaurant.

Monty Brinton / CBS via Getty Images

Ted would have an existential crisis, mostly due to the fact that the pandemic has thwarted his expected timeline for finding his soulmate.

Robin would go into full-on survival mode. She’s kept a secret stash of nonperishables since she was nine years old and has taught herself how to trap, kill, clean, and prepare a pigeon in case of emergencies such as this one.

Barney would turn to internet dating and continues to invite women to his apartment despite lockdown orders. When Ted calls him out on this, he claims that he was born with a perfect genetic makeup and therefore has innate immunity to the virus.

Lily relapses into her shopping addiction and soon there’s not a single corner of the apartment where she can have a clean Zoom background for her remote kindergarten class.

Marshall does this. [Image of Marshall bringing a live possum into the bar]


30 Rock

An image of the cast of "30 Rock"

Nbc / Getty Images

Liz would cry tears of joy upon learning that she will not have to be in the company of another human being for the foreseeable future. She orders off of Seamless so frequently that when, after hate-reading a health blog, she decides to cook a meal for herself (Cheesy Blaster’s new boxed mac ‘n cheese), her local taco place files a missing person’s report.

Jack refuses to wear a mask and continues to go on lavish vacations all around the globe because he was part of an elite group that received a secret COVID-19 vaccine in late 2019 after the first case of coronavirus in the world was reported.

Kenneth would insist that COVID is simply a variation of his “donkey spells” so he’s not concerned about it. His mother sends him a special tincture consisting of horse hooves and corn husks to ward off the virus.

Unable to handle the chaos of his children’s at-home schooling, Pete would abscond to Tanzania under the name “Fiero No-find-o” and start a new life herding wildebeests across the Serengeti.

Desperate for the attention that quarantine is preventing her from receiving, Jenna Maroney would go on Instagram live for all 300 of her followers…every single day. She insists that if nothing else, it is a piece of performance art intended to show the world that “even the most beautiful of creatures get lonely.”

Tracy Jordan decides quarantine is the perfect opportunity to write and record his debut polka album, which somehow goes to #1 on Billboard even though critics called it “a disgrace to music everywhere.”


The Office

An image of the cast of "The Office."

Paul Drinkwater / © NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection

Despite Pam telling him multiple times, Michael does not know how to turn his camera off on Zoom and continues to take calls from the toilet, thinking that no one can see him.

Jim convinces Dwight that Dunder Mifflin competitors are secretly listening into their Zoom calls to gather information against them. In order to ensure security, Jim insists that Dwight take every meeting from his roof, because “at a certain altitude, hackers can’t get in.”

Dwight would scoff at the idea that the coronavirus came from bats. After all, his grandmother used to prepare a delicious bat stew every year for the spring festival and no one ever got sick.

Ryan uses the quarantine as an excuse to break up with Kelly, who is completely devastated. In order to win him back, Kelly wears a full face of makeup and her sluttiest dresses for every single Zoom meeting. Ryan does not notice.


Sex & The City

HBO / Newsmakers / Getty Images

Charlotte would embrace the tie-dye athleisure trend, manically bake banana bread, and wipe down every grocery item even after the CDC says it’s unnecessary.

Carrie would decide to finally write her novel, but end up spending the entire quarantine chain-smoking and buying designer purses online.

Samantha would have a blast sexting various men and posting thirst traps. She can’t believe she ever wasted all that energy meeting men in bars when she could have been doing it from bed, phone in one hand and vibrator in the other.

Miranda would be devastated that the pandemic has put her career on hold and is convinced that she’ll end up a housewife who only wears elastic waist pants.


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