When the media refer to the term 'NEW' normal what does it actually mean? I assume they are referring to the impact COVID has had on the world as a whole and how we must learn to adapt physically and mentally to our new lifestyle restrictions as individuals. It is probably the general term adopted to encourage those of us who are slowly going barking mad to adapt to life in the wake of the pandemic as every wave of infection presents new challenges, restricts our liberty and for some their existence (shielding). We also grieve for all those who have lost family and friends to a virus that was originally referred to as 'just flu' and don't make a fuss.
Everyone's 'normal' is different, so what is normal to me most definitely won't be normal to others. whatever our normal most are now suffering with lockdown fatigue.
I finally understand how my parents and elderly relatives referenced World War II to record landmarks in their lives
Before the War (BTW)
During the War (DTW)
After the War (ATW)
We already refer to normal life as 'Before COVID' and flipping through photographs on my mobile phone it seems inconceivable that so many people crammed into bars and restaurants like sardines in a tin.
'During COVID ' is referred to as the 'New Normal' as we try desperately to reset our life's compass and learn to deal with masks, lockdowns, hand sanitizing, social distancing etc while we move in and out of different levels of' lockdown with numerous Do and DON'TS that are evermore confusing and ridiculous as Lockdown Fatigue takes its toll.
Learning to cope with loneliness and isolation is hard when you hear some people complaining because they want a holiday abroad. Why - we are in the middle of a pandemic. I want to shout at them: we've not seen our children and grandchildren for nearly eighteen months and you complain because you can't have a holiday?
Reading FB earlier today a guy reckoned the sick and people over a certain age should shield (be locked away) while the rest of the community continue with their lives. He really has no idea.
Our only frame of reference for a pandemic is long before we were born and we rely on history for facts (unless the activists also want to sanitize that, no pun intended). The Spanish Flu (1918 influenza pandemic), infected about one-third of the world's population (500 million) and resulted in between 20 and 100 million estimated deaths. When I heard these figures bandied around by politicians and media health experts I did not drill down deep enough to follow the course of that pandemic. If I'd done so I would have realised there was no quick fix and we were going to be in this for the long haul.
The Spanish flu pandemic lasted just over two years (February 1918 to April 1920). The pandemic officially began on 4th March 2018 with four successive waves of infection. If you look at the timeline the resemblance to COVID-19 is scary. (I never realised this until writing this post).
Fast forward just over a hundred years to March 2020. We've already had two COVID waves and some countries such as France now enter their third while Portugal is only just beginning to recover from the second.
On a positive note, the isolation and 'stay at home' campaign has meant we have had time to appreciate the little things and the value they bring. You also realise who your true friends are.
- The successes, surprises and failures of online shopping. We now do our weekly supermarket shop online and have it delivered. It can be random. Ordering in Portuguese is both challenging and rewarding. And the Devil is always in the detail.
- Trying new recipes.
- Learning to upcycle/repurpose and as my mum used to say -'make do and mend' because we can no longer just 'pop' to the shops on a whim
- Gardening. We live in the garden and are attempting to grow some of our own vegetables. Most I have started from seed. It's a constant challenge to stay one step ahead of the bugs and other diseases.
- Hobbies: Stone painting -yep, a new hobby. Mosaics. Painting
- Keeping a photographic record on my blog of flora and fauna in the Western Algarve (Wild Wednesday)
COVID will no doubt leave emotional and mental scars as if etched on the skin like a tattoo. A constant reminder of this traumatic time.
Living through this virus war I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like for refugees who are forced to flee the homes with nothing more than they can carry.
Our respect to the health professionals who have worked tirelessly throughout and have given so much. They are the true heroes of this pandemic.
How are you dealing with the NEW NORMAL?
Picture: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay