Please Stop Calling This Our “New Normal,” There is Nothing Normal About This!

We are in the midst of a global pandemic and there is nothing “Normal” about this. So let’s stop referring to this period of time we find ourselves living in as our “New Normal”?

Normal implies experiences that are expected and typical with respect to a certain set of circumstances.  Human beings alive today never experienced anything quite like this and life as we know it now is so far from what anyone could or would ever conceive of as typical, expected or predictable. It is so very far from Normal.
It is not normal for our daily lives to come to a screeching halt. It is not normal to grieve without a service and the embraces of your loved ones. It is not normal to walk around with masks covering our smiles from one another. It is not normal to be afraid of coming into close contact or near contact with another human being. It is not normal to celebrate birthdays and milestones on Zoom. None of this is normal and to call it such is misleading and dangerous.
Misleading and dangerous because calling this time a “New Normal” implies a sense of permanence about the current state of things, and most things right now are pretty difficult and painful for many. When people feel there is no end in sight for difficulties and pain they are more easily discouraged, less apt to work through the challenges, more prone to depression and even more inclined to give up all together. That is very dangerous indeed.
While life is tougher than tough for many people right now, this will not be the case forever.  Scientists and doctors are working tirelessly to discover and develop viable treatments and vaccines. New information is emerging seemingly daily.  We are essentially learning as we go and doing our best to use what we know, apply it to the here and now and adjust day to day.
To live now, we need to keep things in perspective and remember while this is not our “New Normal” it is our “Current Reality” and one that will shift and change over time.  In our “Current Reality” we do need to continue to do our part to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our communities as safe and healthy as possible. And perhaps, instead of rushing to turn back to the old normal, it would behoove us to investigate further what type of normal we want to exist and what that normal needs in order to be as healthy as can be. For example:
  • What are you missing?
  • Was it a prioraty before covid-19?
  • Can you envision making it a priority post-covid-19?
  • What else do you want to bring more of into your life post-covid-19?