As shelter-in-place/stay-at-home policies here in the US have begun to be lifted, I’ve talked with several people about returning to “normal“. So far, I’m in the minority of not wanting to go back to the “old” normal, but adapting to a “new” normal.
I understand where the majority are coming from. We had so many freedoms and luxuries that were taken from us when this pandemic struck, and we all want them back. But there were true positives that came from it too, that I, for one, want to remain!
Mother Earth, whom we take for granted, has had a chance to regain some health. Ozone layers are healing, smog has become non-existent in most areas. This is a GOOD thing, and I’d prefer that we continue to treat our earth with respect.
Relationships between children and parents has changed. Parents are spending time with their children – the one thing many of us craved in our childhoods was time and attention from our parents!
An understanding of the toils and struggles that our teachers face has come to the awareness of all parents involved in home-schooling. I’ve heard several parents comment that teachers are underpaid, because they finally understand what teachers deal with every day. And, to be honest, that discovery has been made while teaching their own children (angels or brats they may be!). A teacher deals with a classroom full of these same angels and brats, yours as well as other parents’!
As a child, a meal out – whether at McDonald’s or a nice restaurant – was a treat! There were no delivery options in my childhood, either! We went out to eat at a nice place for special occasions, like Mother’s Day. McDonald’s was a special occasion for things like good report cards. We didn’t go because mom (a schoolteacher herself) was too tired to cook at the end of the day.
And we’ve all had to learn how to handle frustration and become more patient (patience is not one of my strong suits, by the way!). Except for the few entitled souls who feel like rules don’t apply to them, we’ve practiced social distancing, which, in essence, is giving someone their own personal space. I’m a big advocate of giving people their own personal space, which is why I often ask for a hug rather than simply reach in and make it happen. We’ve all learned to wait a week – or more – for an item from Amazon with our Prime accounts which used to only take two days.
I hope that some of us – many of us – now go into essential businesses with a more respectful view of the people working there, and appreciate the fact that they take risks every day in order to make the business that is deemed essential available to us. From grocery and drug stores to our police, firefighters and ambulance personnel to the many in the medical field, they deserve our grateful thanks for making what we need possible. (I’ve taken to saying, “Thank you for being here” to every worker I encounter during my essential contact.)
Yes, I want the “old” normal in terms of the freedom to go where I want to go when I want to go. I want the luxuries of hair cuts and nails manicured and trips to my favorite thrift stores. But I also want a “new” normal in becoming and staying more appreciative of the people who provide services to us that we always take for granted. I want families to continue to spend more time as families. I want teachers to be more respected for what they do. And I want Mother Earth not to return to its “old” normal of being abused, carelessly, by all of us.
Is that too much to ask? Or maybe we need a ‘mashup’ of the two?