The New Normal

I hear it day after day no matter where I go: “When things get back to normal…”. The main issue I have with that statement is what they are doing until then. Or better still, what if this is the new normal?

Historically Speaking

When the Black Death (1346-1353) struck Europe and Asia, people were scared because they were unsure what to do about it or the cause being the rats that were carrying the plague. This cycle continued throughout history and includes the United States in 1918-1920 with the Spanish Flu. This flu has been tagged with the nomenclature H1N1. Sound familiar?

In 2009, H1N1, or now called Swine Flu, hit the United States again. Panic-stricken citizens weren’t sure of it because only a year earlier; we were struck with another animal virus we called Avian Flu or Bird Flu. Not that it is relevant to this article, but it was tagged with the nomenclature H5N1.

Please keep in mind; I am not comparing today’s COVID-19 to H1N1 as they are, by design, different. COVID-19 is a respiratory base, whereas H1N1 is influenza structured. But yes, they are both considered a virus, and neither had a vaccine.

But what did citizens do after those outbreaks? Did things get back to “normal”? 

How We Adjusted With The New Normal

If we go way back in history, people moved along. They accepted what was happening and did the best they could, considering sickness and disease literally surrounded them. They would tend to their sick loved ones, and some would help others do the same. At the end of the day, they would do what needed to be done to survive or live another day. They accepted the new normal for them.

This is repetitive throughout history, even here in the United States. People tend to the sick, mourn if needed, and move on with the new normal. But in this day and age, it baffles citizens to think that things will not return to what they were before the China induced virus hit. 

The other day, an older couple walked in and were looking around at the store. The older gentlemen walked over to a small rack with facemasks on it (which is a whole rant in itself) and started looking. The wife turned to him and stated, “Good idea as it looks like this is normal for now.” I smiled.

She had it right. Accept what is happening, adjust as needed, and then move along with your life. We don’t sit in fear hoping for things to return to what once was because it will never be. Yes, I said never. Even if the pandemic hasn’t affected you directly, it has affected those around you, and they will adjust and act or react as needed based on this difference.

Working With The New Normal

We may not like it or want to admit it, but for now, this is the “New Normal.” Wash your hands, wear a mask (Ugh!), and move about your business. That is how we survive. That is how we, as a nation, flourish. We don’t fill out forms complaining about other citizens walking around in the open air without a mask. If you are insecure about what you contact or air you breathe, please wear a mask and gloves. But in the open air or my own car, I’ll be okay.

I have been directly affected by COVID-19. So I say this with all the care I can muster, adjust what needs to be adjusted, and do what you feel you need to do. This is the new normal for today. You do not know what the new normal will be like tomorrow. And because things like this shape society, this will be the “back to normal” when that happens.

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Bill Reese

Author Bill Reese

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