COVID – Is This Our New Normal??

So like me, I assume most of the World is still waiting in anticipation for things to get back to ”normal” again. Early last year, the entire world came to a standstill for a millisecond, and then we started this adventure into the unknown, where we assumed that a couple of months (which seemed like an eternity at the time) of pausing our lives, would result in the world returning to ”normal” again. Then months later, we were still waiting, and, over a year later we are still waiting.   

This is now the third instance of paranoia that I am putting myself through since COVID became a thing! I naively assumed that by being careful and keeping my children chained to the kitchen stove, we were one of the fortunate ones that had got through the first wave without being affected (or rather, INFECTED). The second wave then hit us, and that time it was not so easy to keep them chained up, or myself for that matter, as I had no choice, but to continue with living as I did before………only with a mask and armed with double barrelled sanitizers wherever I went. But again, I counted our blessings that we had not contracted COVID. I was also so grateful that no one very close to me had been affected by it.

I have been particularly concerned about my one brother, who can ill afford to be affected by COVID. He has been plagued by emphysema for a few years now. It is like dealing with a delinquent, who refuses to listen to my pleas to stay safe, as he just wants to continue being out and about, spreading his bloody kindness everywhere, and saving the entire bloody world…..flipping putz. He then has the audacity to tell me he is doing what makes him happy, and I must not worry about him. Well I AM NOT HAPPY!!! Him staying safe….that is what will make me happy!!!

Now again, we are in our third wave, and everyone around me either has it, or knows someone who has it, and it is even MORE of a challenge to stay safe, as we really have had no choice, but to continue with our daily lives. Now though, we are almost getting used to living with this monster, and I dare say are at risk of becoming ”immune” to it. NOT IMMUNE TO THE DISEASE DAMMIT….TO THE RISKS!!

I have reached that point now, that we are all sitting ducks, and we are all going to get it eventually. This is in total contrast to how I felt initially. Initially, I was THAT person, the one who was quite happy to spend my days in isolation until such time as this ridiculous thing had passed. Being a closet recluse, the idea seemed do-able enough…….actually most appealing! My life would not have changed too dramatically anyway. I would then just have had an excuse for never leaving my shell. In fact, for the initial lockdown, I did have an excuse for never leaving my shell….or even my house. That was until such time as some of my friends became increasingly judgmental and annoyed with me. This in turn led to me feeling that they might have been justified, and that I might have been leaning on COVID a little too much, and for some reason, I felt pressured to venture out….safely of course. I had to endure the ridiculing and their eyerolling as I tried to stay at a distance, sanitized every 1.5 minutes and insisted on keeping my mask on…..did I mention these were my ”friends”??  

Until the ”just ending first wave” and ”just starting third wave”, annual check ups to the dentist just did not happen……not even an option in my mind. Hair was unattended, and the shaver came out for Salt and Pepper. They had not let me near them with that shaver for years (who can blame them). But at that point they did not even care, as they were not sure anyone would ever see them in the flesh again anyway. Pepper was ready to move in with the neighbour (who is a really toxic and impossible woman….well he has lived with me for 24 years I suppose), or anyone who would take him, and my younger child, Salt was ready to be admitted into what is probably becoming a very trendy institution for the exceedingly depressed… there’s an opportunity for some rich entrepreneur to make money out of COVID!!  Of course, I refused his request, as it was not safe!! 

So yesterday morning I was driving to work, and I was looking around at how ”normal” mask wearing has become. Imagine if someone had said two years ago that this would be the picture we would be faced with on a daily basis in our future? I know I certainly would NEVER have believed this. This led me to thinking about whether I would EVER feel comfortable not wearing a mask, and not sanitizing every 1.5minutes again!! This in turn led me to wondering, or more specifically concluding, that this IS THE NEW NORMAL.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the old normal is now over. Sure, it might get safer and less scary in time, as it becomes the norm, and sure, there will be (already are) the people (Pepper…..hmmmmph), that have continued on with their lives as before. But for the most part….this is it. No more old normal for the world. This is not going away, and if it does, a cousin twice removed from COVID is waiting in the wings to replace it. 

I am starting to think that we will never again have the opportunity to sing along to Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline ……ever again!! One simply cannot sing about ”hands touching hands”, and ”people reaching out, touching me touching you”, without performing the actions as well!! 

I do so feel for the younger generation though….. the kids that are supposed to be mingling and honing their socializing skills, and those supposed to be meeting their future partners. Although for the most part the younger generation have been totally irresponsible from the get go, and have not been hugely careful about this whole thing anyway. Largely to blame was the information supplied that children ‘’cannot get COVID”, shortly followed by ‘’children do not get it severely’’. But what is the future going to hold for this new generation? I suppose they will navigate it amongst themselves, and start living their ”normal”.

Of course the even younger kids will not know any other normal anyway, and probably have hours of amusement and disbelief about what our normal was!! It is probable that there are going to be, as there have been all along, two schools of thought. One being the school that I attend, which is stay aware, stay away and STAY SAFE!!!! But as mentioned, for me that is so simple, as I am that person anyway………you know….….all recluse like and in a constant routine rut. Then there is the other school of thought (also known as ”The Trump and/or Pepper’’ school of thought), which is f*** it, don’t believe this s***t, it is all a huge conspiracy, and it is nothing more than the common flu, so I’m just gonna go ahead and live my life as always. 

So, my argument (vaccination or no vaccination), is that the people trying to stay cautious and safe are not really going to remain safer, as there are a whole lot of other people that do not have that attitude. So, the virus will just linger indefinitely. And as I said previously, if by some ‘’herd immunity’’ or such like, the virus disappears into the abyss, there, hot on its hills, will be its cousin twice removed to take us back to square one. 

From this, the question surely arises as to why then am I bothering to try and remain safe? Well, for the moment, I feel perhaps my cynical reasoning is totally incorrect, and hopefully this is NOT OUR NEW NORMAL!

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