Because of the mitigation strategies put in place globally for Covid-19, we are all hearing terms like ‘New Normal’. It’s one of those things that for some of us, is quite stressful. As if going to work, school or outside wasn’t complicated enough, and now we have to add another dimension to the equation? (…being physically distant). When you think of it, have you ever paid attention to how people tend to group together? We are social by nature (and yes that includes those who are antisocial…there are special groups for them). To varying extents, we find comfort in the ‘group’, but now the physical group is gone.
For some of us, our cities are open. We can now start to venture back into the wilds of our urban concrete and glass jungles…for others, we admire them from the windows. The way in which our societies function has to change, and we all have to adopt the same practices as a result. An initially diverse global culture has started to become more uniform and it wasn’t war that caused this or an idea…it was a virus.
So much of how we live our lives is more than what we just think, it’s how we feel. We don’t consciously remind our bodies to keep breathing, blinking or the precise movement of our legs when we walk…it’s automatic. We are however conscious of how it feels when we can’t move or can’t breathe, to say it’s unpleasant would be a massive understatement. Now telling people that they have to be aware of exactly how close they are to another person, is far too much thinking than what most of us are used to.
‘Normal’ is as the name suggests, because it occurs without us having to think about it. Going to the shops, beach or park is normal, BBQ’s are normal, playing sports with friends in the yard is normal. Telling people than they can only socialize with a limited number of people in public or private spaces is (not) normal. It’s not normal for various reasons (which of your friends do you see first? Who from your group do you exclude because the numbers are too big?), but it’s still essential.
It’s something that we have to do, to keep everyone safe. We have to exclude and hurt some people just to protect our communities, we have to stay 1.5m apart when shopping and we have to say goodbye to some our favourite eateries because they can’t function with social distancing and the new laws. While change is normal (it is a constant after-all), it’s not easy and can in some cases be harmful. I feel that when we use the term ‘New Normal’, we are making light of a situation that’s impacted so many people negatively.
Just like how ‘social distancing’ is literally ‘physical distancing’, the ‘New Normal’ is more ‘The current annoyance’. Obviously, we are going to follow the law, because these laws are in place to save lives. However, we should find ways to support our communities. Donating or making PPE is one method that is becoming increasingly popular, but what about those small business owners who are struggling to make ends meet? We see in the news about the large companies that may soon be shutting down, but we tend to forget the small business that have already had to close.
Many are currently unemployed and not everyone is financially secure during a global crisis. Instead of thinking about how we can provide emotional, physical or spiritual support within our communities, there are those out there who would still gladly preach hate. Even when the world is changing, it is both comforting and disappointing that somethings never will. Compassion and patience are somethings that we all can give, it doesn’t cost us, but it gives us so much. Be compassionate and patient towards your fellow people, be a pillar of support for your community, do what you can to make a difference.
Even if the world may seem like it’s changing for the worse (…we have all been affected in some way, shape or form), we should all change for the better.
(PS. Hi everyone! Finished my final assignment for the semester *cheers*, how is everyone? I hope you all continue to stay safe! 😊 )