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What is the NEW Normal?

face-mask-new normal.jpg


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)
  • Blogging
  • Poetry
When both my husband and I eventually have our vaccine I do wonder after so much fear and anxiety will life ever return to the old normal. As I write this I can't imagine greeting friends with a hug or going to the hairdressers, hospital, doctors, supermarkets, shops, bars and other crowded locations etc without wearing a mask.
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

Comments

Some months ago I stopped, absolutely, exchanging views with anyone who belligerently announces that (a) there is no pandemic (b) the whole thing is a Conspiracy, to which my Prime Minister is a principal signatory. As the body count mounts, I encounter fewer and fewer of these no-mind fools, thank God. And Carole, just to round out the list of past pandemics: I read that the medieval Bubonic Plague killed 75 to 100 million people between 1347 and 1352.. Notwithstanding the rather cavalier wave of the statistical arm to 25 million people . . . that is a stunning number. About 1/4 of the population of Europe at the time. >Modern vaccines will save us from such a merciless culling of the herd. But the 'new normal' will be nothing like the social world prior to 2020..........
 
Some months ago I stopped, absolutely, exchanging views with anyone who belligerently announces that (a) there is no pandemic (b) the whole thing is a Conspiracy, to which my Prime Minister is a principal signatory. As the body count mounts, I encounter fewer and fewer of these no-mind fools, thank God. And Carole, just to round out the list of past pandemics: I read that the medieval Bubonic Plague killed 75 to 100 million people between 1347 and 1352.. Notwithstanding the rather cavalier wave of the statistical arm to 25 million people . . . that is a stunning number. About 1/4 of the population of Europe at the time. >Modern vaccines will save us from such a merciless culling of the herd. But the 'new normal' will be nothing like the social world prior to 2020..........
Clark, I ran into someone just yesterday who said the pandemic was a hoax. I was left speechless, but she continued by saying that millions of people die from the flu every year. Millions? I thought, but I couldn't find my voice. It's never a conversation, is it? They deliver their views as if they are the only ones that matter and we are all fools to believe otherwise. Yes, what was considered normal before, I fear, will not be seen again. We've seen too much.
 
Thanks Sue. I know this one dedicated fool who is of the opinion--ASIDE: he once said to a friend in my hearing, "my opinion is as good as your opinion" . My friend said "no, you've got that homily wrong. Your opinion is not even close to my opinion. The homily goes, "you have the RIGHT to state your opinion as much as I do." But my opinion springs from evidence and science. Your opinion springs from your opinion, in which case both the former and the latter are all fucked up". I just about sprayed my beer across the bar ASIDE ENDS. . . .is of the opinion that the USA did not ever land on the moon, that the Holocaust is just Jewish propaganda, and that the Russians have an underground military placement at the North Pole, ready to take the Canadian Arctic by force. I mention this idiot because I think it important to NOT engage people like this. Even there lies a measure of validation. I say, walk away.
 
Some months ago I stopped, absolutely, exchanging views with anyone who belligerently announces that (a) there is no pandemic (b) the whole thing is a Conspiracy, to which my Prime Minister is a principal signatory.
Some still reckon the hospitals are empty and it is all a hoax so the government can control them. Complying with the lockdown restrictions is an infringement of their rights.
Modern vaccines will save us from such a merciless culling of the herd. But the 'new normal' will be nothing like the social world prior to 2020..........
It is also these same people who refuse the vaccine. (I am not referring to people who can't have the vaccine due to medical reasons). Yes, it is their right to refuse, but then they should not take up hospital beds when they become sick with COVID. It works both ways.

I doubt the world will ever be 'normal' again in our lifetime, Clark. IT will take a generation.
 
I couldn't find my voice.
I know that feeling well ... or I used to. Hubby says please don't chew anyone's head off today. I try to bite my tongue ... BUT

On Tuesday I was walking off the beach along an empty path and a hippy-ho surfer appeared from nowhere. I was not wearing my mask and neither was he so I hung back and waved him past. He looked at me as though I was crazy when I said:
I am respecting your 2m distance as neither of us are wearing a mask.
He stared at me and then replied
The only space you need is in your *f**g head.
We have a spike of infections in our area which has meant financial hardship for many families because they can't work due to strict lockdown restrictions. Plus many local businesses will never reopen. Needless to say I became a raging bull and he just waved the red cape.

Yes, what was considered normal before, I fear, will not be seen again. We've seen too much.
True. I have now adjusted to social distancing, masks and well-spaced tables at cafe's and restaurants. I don't know how I will cope when these restrictions are lifted and life becomes a free for all. in the UK they are proposing no masks, no social distancing etc.
 
Good on you Carole for respecting that person's space, but shame on him for being such a jerk. I know this sounds harsh, but I never realized before how many odd people there are. The conspiracy theorists who have come out of the woodwork is amazing. I think because I write, I am always on a quest to understand people, especially when it comes to behavior or decision that make no sense to me. I keep wanting to scrape away the surface and find some reason for so many people to be so distrustful of EVERYTHING. We are in a hot mess in the States, and even though I'm trying to simply learn about what's happening, I sometimes find it hard to sleep at night because it's all so skewed and non-sensical. So, you just keep on being you kind, sweet self, Carole. Nothing can change that and I hope next time you run into a more respectable hippie! :)

Clark, I think it does good to harken to days gone by for reference. A grandson, 15, told me he didn't know if he would get the shot when it became available to him (when did kids get to decide this stuff anyway - I must not have been looking) and then he said that he guessed it would probably be gone in a year or two anyway. So I asked him if he got an annual flu shot and he said he did. I said that flu shot began with the 1919 pandemic and we are still getting it over 100 years later, so I don't think the Corona virus is going anywhere soon.

Sue :)
 
One expedient I'm sure of re the New Normal: assuming new cases drop to the 'negligible' point when 90%+ of the pop has been inoculated. If that is the case a year from now, you will be required to show an inoculation Certificate before accessing an airplane, subway, bus, taxi, ball game, government building etc-- or, and this one scares me, the vaccine will soon contain an 'additive' that triggers an OK response to a scanner when you enter just about any venue you can think of. Shades of Huxley's Brave New World.
 
I may become a hermit in the mountains. The day that governments design a microchip--only to monitor your vaccine compliance, of course. Of COURSE! [the mere thought that governments in free democratic counties like Canada, the US, UK, Australia etc would u/k to you add your political affiliations, personal health issues, criminal record, location and movements--why, what a ridiculous idea! And do all this without your knowledge or permission? Good grief Clark, what ARE you smoking these days to think this way . . . .]
 
We already wear clothes with a chip in the label so big brother can track our movements... the mountains sound a good plan who needs people when we have poetry :)
 
I already read new poems to the dogs. They cock their heads to the side from time to time and NEVER offer a critical word. If it works for them . . . wolves, chipmunks, and wolverines should be doubly appreciative (they'd probably listen in exchange for lunch (oh wait! that might not work out . . . .). Anyway, you and yours are welcome to visit me in the mountains.
 
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