Ace loses his mind in anticipation of that glorious 30-minute trek through the neighborhood.
Between 4-5pm every day, without fail, our dog will pester me until I take him for a walk. Typically there aren’t many people on our route. Now our walks are full of noise, play, and life. Parents are riding bikes with their kids. Couples are walking with drinks in hand. There is even this older man who plays his guitar on his porch. He isn’t terrific but the fact he’s playing, well I respect it.
We aren’t living in “normal” any longer.
COVID-19 has altered our collective consciousness. We are shopping with gloves, masks, and obsessively washing our hands now. We know terms like “social distancing,” virologist, and can name the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Normal, as in what we were doing before Coronavirus, isn’t coming back.
We have to mourn that, then we have to look towards rebuilding a new way forward.
There is a hopeful path in front of us.
The economy will recover if history is any indicator of previous pandemics. Small businesses will return, although it might look drastically different. Schools, shops, and offices will open up and eventually have capacity again. Movement in the streets, stadiums will fill again, heck we may even get to watch sports. But my hope is that we hold onto some habits we’ve established during isolation. The quirky zoom chats with friends, the appreciation for homemade food, and all the daily family bike rides.
My hope is that remote work becomes normative for industries where it makes sense. We should hold onto the grace most of us have expressed for the people who are keeping society together. Let’s not let our praise of teachers stop at lip service. All of the money big corporations are spending on feel-good ads should actually accomplish something. We can push society towards a healthier, thriving version of itself.
While COVID-19 has created chaos and death in our world, we can create something new, something beautiful from that loss.
That should be our new normal.