How to get into grad school during coronavirus (as an undergrad)

I’m a transfer student going into my third year of undergrad as a biochemistry major. My intent was to pursue research the moment I stepped onto my new university campus, however, of course, thanks to the pandemic relevant labs are not operating as usual and I simply cannot find anywhere/anyone that will let me in, paid or otherwise. It doesn’t help that a lot of the research going on is time-sensitive. Not to mention the many other students facing the exact same dilemma who make the very few lab spots incredibly more competitive than usual (and lots of the students who’ve spent the past years getting to know people in the department will most likely have a better chance of getting in than me, a stranger).

Additionally, since I’m new to the school, I cannot make personal connections with faculty where they get to know me enough to give me a good letter of recommendation.

What am I supposed to do? I have three quarters before applying to grad school and I’ll have nothing to show for except a GPA and a resume that got me into my current Bachelor’s program. Hardly impressive enough for the grad schools I am interested in applying to. What will PhD programs be looking for since, surely, they cannot expect applications to be at the same caliber as prior years?

I have also briefly considered to not attend grad school immediately after getting my BS degree, but finding relevant research opportunities around my state after graduation to build the strength of my application seems hopeless.

EDIT: I should also mention that a few of the programs I’m looking into do not even consider GRE scores

You certainly don’t have to plan on going to a doctoral program right after college. At its most basic, the answer is simple: if you can’t get the experience you need right now, you’ll need to wait until you can get the experience you need.

Remember that getting research experience isn’t just about checking a box on a resume/application so that you can get into a program you like. It’s training, and career experience: it’s a way for you to determine whether you like research enough to pursue it as a career, and a way for you to get the basic training you need to succeed as a graduate researcher. I contend that no one can really say for sure whether they want a PhD if they have no research experience - because a PhD is a research degree, at its core.

We are in unfortunate times, and while this pandemic isn’t really unprecedented the scope and effect it’ll have on people is. Normally I’d say talk to your professors - and I’d still advise you to do that - but their advice is going to be constrained, too; they can’t predict the future. Everyone else is going to be in the same predicament as you, and I presume that some doctoral programs are going to adjust for this when they’re looking at students’ applications. However, since most of them are probably currently grappling with how they are going to even operate THIS year, I doubt that any of them are seriously planning for how they are going to do admissions 2-4 years from now: they’ll figure that out when they get there.

So basically, we’re all in a place of uncertainty. Talk to your professors about your goals; do your best in the classes you are in now, and try to see out any opportunities that will expose you to research even remotely. We’ll eventually return to the labs, and when we do, you can look for research experience then. You may find that you need to take a year or two after college to get more research experience.