I have lived in what has been a slow, but evolutionary normal for 76.92 years, 76 years plus 11 months. In this speedily evolving and so-called new normal I know I won’t be alive to see the end of it. It might as well be considered the end now. There aren’t enough years left in my life to find out if it ever gets better. And what would be better?
I was just settling down to enjoy trying to figure out the old normal, The normal that ended about two and a half months ago. I used to feel that there was so much more yet to come, and that if we are just patient and hard at work, that “more” would be better, and so it was. Now I don’t feel like that at all. I have no feeling about what is to come. I don’t look forward it. I cling to the past ways of breathing and smiling without covering my nose and mouth.
From now on we will see the frailty of some words laid bare as they become useless in the new society…the shops, the mall, the audience, the crowd…and traditions that marked us as adults, like shaking hands, hugging, touching people on their shoulders, comforting strangers (not that I actually did much of this), pouring over used clothes at the secondhand stores and GoodWill, handling secondhand items, picking over fruits and vegetables, lingering over tea at a crowded cozy restaurant after Saturday brunch.
It is doubtful we will ever see and do these things again. They will become relics of a happier time. A time the just born babies will never understand. Children will learn fear and suspicion before they learn love.