How did Covid affect your Hobbie?
Now that its hopefully overish- an endemic now as opposed to a pandemic, lets look back.
(Caveat - there is always a small risk of a new covid variant becoming a pandemic again (I don’t believe so personally - its not evolutionally advantageous for it to do so) but always the risk of a new different pandemic.) Lets learn from our history.
But lets not get too political.
**For me: **
Negative- I hated the lack of club/expo meets, lack of access to vets and also checking and picking up animals in person.
Positive - I had time during lockdown to restart an old hobby, keeping and breeding reptiles. And to examine whats really important to me.
My sales increased dramatically during COVID. Also, I had the opportunity to pick up some very special animals from folks who were going through hard times. On the down side, I definitely missed the expos and the meetings of my local herp society.
Positive: I got back into keeping reptiles after not having had them for years, and ultimately ended up with two snake species I’d always wanted. It’s possible that would have happened even if COVID hadn’t happened, but it happened during COVID, so I’m counting it.
Negative: I missed out on going to my first reptile show because of Omicron. The show still happened, but I work with some really high-risk people, some of whom were already struggling with long-haul COVID symptoms, so I didn’t feel like going to the show was the most responsible course of action for me and opted to sit it out. I ended up ordering the species I wanted online instead. She’s an awesome snake that I wouldn’t have gotten if I’d purchased a snake at the show (her breeder wasn’t there), so it all worked out in the end. There will be other shows, I’ll make it to one eventually.
Positive: I finally made the leap to acquire a few snakes of my own. (didn’t take too much to convince my family tbh)
Negative: I did go through a really bad period of burnout from my job, which in turn made it harder for a while to save money to ensure I could provide for the snakes before purchase, and I nearly gave up on the idea of owning a snake. (glad I got that straightened out, IDK how I lived without a snake before now)
Positive: I finally got my first snake not quite due to covid it just happened to be the timing but it sure helped me do a lot of research in my spare time lol
Negative: prices of everything are through the roof and I’ve found it can be significantly harder to find equipment both new and used since there is so many new people
It’s sort of how i ended up wanting to try having a reptile again at all. I’ve been watching tons of reptile youtube. I am chronically ill, and so have spent the last few years in rather heavy isolation but for a cuddly Dachshund. Having her company, and videos like those to keep my mind active, kept me coping.
All that youtube made me remember how much I loved reptile keeping years ago and I started looking into what I’d get if I got back in. My health no longer allows the kind of gardening I’d want to do for a second tortoise and overall it’d be more work than I have the strength to do. So no tortoise, not right now.
I fell in love with snakes, and looked for a species small enough for me to handle and easy to care for. Even Ball Pythons would be too heavy for me to wrangle on a bad day. Thanks to a youtube video, I found out about African House Snakes, and they check every box for me, besides just being stunningly gorgeous. I could watch them all day.
So you could say this- the reptile hobby- is one of my little positives out of a harrowing and horrible experience. Hopefully it will be over soon. Until then, I will have a second little friend to interact with and have joy from.
Positive: Just as @westridge experienced, my sales also increased dramatically. Less people were buying from the chain pet stores (Petco +Petsmart in my area) and were looking for small local breeders to reduce exposure (and partially because we were in full lockdown). I did not have much of a reputation before the Covid pandemic, but the surge of sales definitely spiked in late Spring/early Summer of 2020. It has since slowed down, and I somewhat miss the traffic of customers coming to my door. Some return customers are still purchasing from me from 2020 to this day. It has been fun to stick with them and watch their reptile grow as well.
Negative: A bit of burnout. I spent my entire day with and caring for my herptiles or on YouTube researching my next reptile obsession, so eventually it got a tiny bit boring. I just had to take a good break from spending all day down in my dungeon, and more time elsewhere, and soon enough I got back into my rhythm. I just had to take a good break, but not cold turkey my reptile hobby (or else my reptiles would be in danger). It took some discipline on both sides, but instead of spending 6 hours simply admiring my isopods or dart frogs each day, I maybe spent 1 hour a day strictly doing care-related work, and maybe 10 minutes holding Orbit, my leopard gecko. It was all about finding the balance in everything.
But overall, I believe it ended up as a positive. I got some good customers, and ultimately fell in love with the reptile hobby all over again. It really kickstarted me back into what I am now.
Frozen rats etc are not as easy to find right now in the UK.
Supply chain problems are still difficalt. CO2 production for euthanasia is still low. Its even threatened human food products. Although it might be BREXIT too.
EDit 04/04 Even beer was at risk recently