Tuesday, 17 November 2020

The New Normal?

I guess we are not the only ones who have been watching a lot more TV than normal these days, or rather this year. One thing that strikes me watching all these series that were made pre-Covid, is how much people all touch each other - well, normally. Shaking hands, hugging, cheek kissing, high-fiving etc etc. Seeing that, and people in big groups, really close to each other, kind of make me shiver and shrug a bit each time at the moment.

It certainly is different times now, we have a "new normal" to relate to. I wonder a lot about how many of our adapted habits will change forever? Maybe hand-shaking will never come back but the fist-bump-hello will stay instead for example? Will this "new normal" become the normal-normal?

In our house we have a box by the door with all the things you need on a daily basis now when you leave the house. It's not just "wallet, keys and phone" anymore, it's also "mask, hand sanitizer and gloves". We have spare masks and wipes in the cars and in our bags.


If entering someone else's house, the very first thing we do always is ask for the bathroom, to go wash our hands. We say hello to our friends by waving at each other and stay and sit at a safe distance from each other at all times, whether in or out. I have really changed my behavior and I must admit if someone gets too close to me, I do get a bit uncomfortable now!
My house has (even more than before) turned into my safe haven, and being at home with my family is where I feel completely at ease and think of none of the above. My safe bubble.

I have also been thinking about this terminology that previously was not really needed and all the "new" words in our vocabulary, like lock-down, social distancing, quarantine, e-learning, community spread, Zoom, N95, key worker etc. It's interesting to note how we have all become experts in statistics, we know the difference between an epidemic vs a pandemic, what antibodies do, what a super-spreader is and why it's important to "flatten the curve".
Add to these words also all this new slang that have been popping up, words that have morphed and changed in meaning and been added to the common vocabulary. Have you heard about the coronapocalypse, covidiots, the 'rona', the coronacoaster, quarantinis, mascne or coronacations for example? All so innovative, being a bit of a linguistic nerd, it's actually quite fun to notice these developments!

I do wonder though how we will remember this time in the future; and especially what the kids will remember from this time. Hopefully that we spent a lot of time together, in a positive way.
That life was smaller, in a good way. And slower. And that what mattered was the little things.
Maybe the "new normal" isn't that bad?

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