Take advantage of the portent and solacing concept of memories; cast your mind back to that distant concept of normality. Yes, you read that right. I am actually asking you to think about a time before lockdown. A time when if someone had even mentioned the name “coronavirus” it would have sounded more like a foreign language, as opposed to the pandemic who’s omnipresence tinged the atmosphere with a physical and emotional peril. Its slippery, suffocating tentacle-like antibodies have even slithered themselves into the, seemingly untouchable, realm of the internet; clambering to the internet’s ladder to, tragically, the most searched word on google.

According to the numbers, coronavirus has rendered us all compulsive shoppers, with global retail e-commerce standing tall at twenty two billion monthly visits. Oh my, 2020 really was a year for astounding and, often egregious, statistics. We don’t need the numbers to tell us, though. Take a look at your browsing history, if it is not under the spell of online shopping trips dominated by , then, well done, I believe you have suppressed the human instinct of wanting what you cannot have. These days, the internet is our shopping mall, and while lockdown has us on its leash, it has led many people to the communal pit-stop of online dog shopping. A momentary freedom from lockdown, when people are no longer dwelling on the horrific coronavirus statistics, seven million people took to Pets4Homes in an attempt to find their newest companion. 

I guess there is one silver lining to lockdown: puppies, puppies, and -- yes, you guessed right -- more puppies. You need not be obsequious to notice that incessant barking, which once precluded sleep and conversation alike has. Taking a walk through Hyde Park these days is like walking into the biggest doggy playdate the world has ever seen. An event to which my dog and I have not, yet, received an invite. Someone please tell me, how do you get invited to these things?! 2020 saw a 104% increase in the demand for puppies in comparison to the previous year. At this rate, dogs are going to be outnumbering humans. Okay, maybe that is slightly hyperbolic on my part. Though, in all seriousness, puppy envy seems to be on the rise. When a furry friend peaks its face into your friends’ camera on a google meet, your mind enters a scene of puppy mania. Oh how the tables have turned; it seems humans, now, are at the mercy of dogs, playing a game of fetch which leads them, in a coaxing nature, to a puppy adoption website.

Human beings’ rapturous response to dogs is, indeed, scientific. With the rudimentary action of petting a dog decreasing stress hormones, regulating breathing and lowering blood pressure, while releasing oxytocin, a hormone associated with bonding and affection, they, quite literally, hold healing powers in the palm of their hands, or rather, their paws. Meanwhile, in case any cat people out there need any persuading, dogs are one of the only species that do not experience xenophobia, but rather, in most cases, they are xenophilic, meaning they love strangers. Hence, puppies really are the perfect pandemic pets; affection dressed up in fur. 

I guess the moral of lockdown is (cat lovers, you’re not going to like this one) : when the going gets tough, buy a puppy.