What does the “new normal” mean?
Nobody knows — and the internet and societal conversations are awash in speculation.
I fancy myself a big reader of online articles; I try to ingest the glut of information out there about this global pandemic. In the articles I read representatives from different sectors of the economy and society weigh in on the many possible outcomes that might occur when COVID-19 repercussions fully shake out and the world emerges as a different place.
The virus is still revealing surprising facets of itself.
One thing seems to be certain: there are no hard and fast dates, no definite timelines. The models built by the most advanced scientists and research institutes contradict one another. This slow-motion event isn’t something that just ends. This is an far-reaching historic force that will deeply change almost all aspects of society for the indefinite future.
Mitigating risk in the coming years will be everything. And everything, it seems, will be risky — at least for awhile. After restrictions are lifted, how many people will still avoid going out, due to trauma? How many people will become permanent germaphobes or agoraphobes? Will Zoom still be a desirable alternative to meeting IRL? How do you balance your fear with a need for social contact, if only for the sake of your own mental health?
Today I don’t worry about tomorrow. Today I don’t engage in endless speculation. Today I feel like I am living my highest calling — to grow my food and children, to ride a bike and read for hours. This is my life, albeit in relative isolation from society as a whole. And I feel an intense, abiding satisfaction in activities that can’t be monetized.
Maybe living at my own damn pace is the new normal. I celebrate that idea today.