The New Normal

Filed under Blog

The age of Covid might not be completely over – there are still variants floating around, but for the most part the US is getting back to normal. Mask mandates have been lifted in most states along with other restrictions. Businesses around the country are opening back up to normal hours and capacities. Many people are still working from home, and some may remain working from home.

While mask mandates have been lifted, many people continue to wear them – often those who are completely vaccinated. No judgement, you do you, but it is clear we are living in a new normal.

My concern is that the pandemic and all of its restrictions and mandates created an anxiety that many of us are finding hard to shake. I know people who do not want to go out and socialize out of fear of catching something. These are people who for all intents and purposes were social butterflies, but now would prefer to stay in until the ‘all safe’ is given. “I’ll just wait a little while longer” is a common phrase I’ve heard from those who choose to stay confined.

Again, no judgment, but living a full and joyful life means taking some risk. The longer we stay inside, the more anxiety producing it will be to go outside and mingle with people again. But, we all need people. We are social animals who need each other – and socializing over Zoom doesn’t count as the same thing.

I understand it can be scary for some people to go back to the way things were pre-Covid, and for sure, some things should change – but avoiding people for fear of catching something  – a virus of some kind – doesn’t really offer protection. It reduces our ability to withstand colds and flus because our body has not had to mount and immunity to them. I’m no doctor, but I know a healthy immune system stays healthy precisely because it is exposed to viruses and germs.

Of course, some of our adaptations from the last year and a half were good ones. How many of us mastered baking sourdough bread? That has to be a good thing, right? Many of us took the time to work to make ourselves more healthy. When a pandemic hits and the people most affected by it are the obese – it’s time to take a good look at some of our choices and make some difficult lifestyle changes – many of us did just that and are better off for it.

The internet kept many businesses up and running. Working from home we found was actually more productive than working in the office. That’s probably not sustainable, but the nation didn’t slack off. Some will continue to work from home, while others are just itching to get back to the office – either way, we can enjoy more options than ever before.

I don’t know how long the ‘new normal’ will last. This might be a phase that we have to go through to get back to normal – or it might be a place we land in the age of globalization. However normal plays out, we should all give ourselves a round of applause for getting through this very difficult time. Many of us lost loved ones, many of us survived Covid, but live with side effects of the virus. Each day we hear of a new variant and that can be scary. What ever your new normal looks like, be kind to yourself, and grateful that you’ve come out on the other side – stronger and wiser.

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