M. Linda Graham
A New Normal
Updated: Mar 17, 2020
“And what do you wish?' he said at last. 'That what should be shall be,' she answered” – Galadriel LOTR
Last week we had Daylight’s Savings Time begin, a full Worm moon, Friday the 13th, the Coronapocalypse, Happy Pi Day! Beware the Ides of March! Wow, right? What a difference a week makes.
Being home sick most of last week had me way too focused on the Coronapocalpyse. The 9/11 of plagues appears to be upon us, and the enemy lies within. Just as post 9/11 saw a cultural shift, I wonder if post-Coronoapocalypse will lead to a similar shift in how we engage socially.
There will be loss: Travel services and small businesses (dance, yoga, workout studios, restaurants, and so many more) are likely to take the hardest long-term hit, and my heart aches for those senior students preparing for final performances and games that will not be realized. Since 2006, the challenge of social connectivity has been a documented factor in the rising suicide rate [https://www.suicideinfo.ca/resource/socialconnectedness/]. What will happen now, with mandated social distancing?
On the other hand: Will developments designed to meet a temporary challenge give rise to long-term transformation? Education and major sectors of the work force have already been unceremoniously swept into the cyber-fray as they develop online communications with desperate innovation. Necessarily smaller gatherings may be invigorated with creativity. Large scale events such as sports and music concerts will carefully return, but with a new level of hygienic awareness, just as post 9/11 saw new security innovations.
Will the USA Healthcare system, long overdue for an overhaul/upgrade, finally be addressed (after how many die unnecessarily?). Will this unexpected “break” for Mother Earth be observed? Understood? Valued? Will science finally be believed?
They say it takes 21 days to change a habit (although this depends on the habit in question: https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/01/02/how-long-it-takes-to-form-a-new-habit/). Our society has been unexpectedly, lopsidedly furloughed for at least 30 days- an extra week offering the opportunity to reinforce the change. Will we build on this opportunity to be better? Improve our habits, even if only to be smarter about how we wash our hands? Of course we can, but will we? Do we have the will?
How appropriate for this to come during the season of Lent. How spiritually fitting for many activities to be scheduled to recommence following Easter – a Holy Day of resurrection. And how contextually proper for all of this to happen in Spring, the season of rebirth, renewal, new life, and new hope. God, that wily Creator, the Mathmagician, is also a Master of Irony; I think I saw the shadow of a chortling God back there, behind the light at the end of a long corona-tunnel.
Do you have a “New Normal”?