Soon we’ll be able to get back to normal… except that normal, certainly the one we’ve known before this novel coronavirus, is no longer the norm.
Welcome to the new normal.
Some are comparing it to post 9/11, with all the travel restrictions and security changes. We’re most or less acclimated to taking off our shoes and jackets, separating our carry-ons, being sniffed by dogs, and on and on. So too, will we be up-ended and asked, coerced, or possibly forced, whether by good judgement or bad, into this new paradigm of behavior as our Covid-19 adventure or nightmare continues.
It’s like military life. Sort of…
Those who have served, know all too well of “hurry up and wait,” which is the new norm at any store still open. New rules, masks and distancing, marked pathways, are fast becoming common and what once made you look like a desperado now makes you socially responsible (makes you wonder what banks think of this). Thus we stand on taped-down Xs, wait our turn to enter the store, hoping they’re not out of what we need, stare at empty shelves, and wonder how we ended up like the former Soviet Union.
Having spent my working life in engineering, in places like submarines and hospitals-they have their similarities I assure you-I am well versed in PPEs, hazmat cleanup, gel-in and gel-out-so I’m not particularly shocked at any of this, other than it suddenly becoming common in all walks of life. I foolishly expected it to stay specialized to things like nuclear containment and asbestos abatement.
I can tell you it’s not exciting, becomes monotonous, and a matter of habit after a while, like taking off your shoes at the airport.
And as with all human endeavors, irony abounds as we deal with this. Armed groups demand we open everything back up as if you can shoot your way out of this. People want their freedom to assemble so long as you don’t get too close. We want the good old day to come back so we can save our economy and get our hair cut, except that it might kill us so we stay away.
We don’t want all this new rigamarole, except deep down we know we’re stuck with it for the foreseeable future. Which sucks.
Some will acquiesce; some will throw tantrums, but that’s not a particularly effective strategy because sooner or later you’ll need TP or a haircut.
Or maybe you won’t.
©2020 David William Pearce