Let’s not call it the ‘new normal’, please

The VIEW from here



Does anyone else cringe at the phrase “the new normal”? Let’s face it, our lives these past five months have been anything but normal, and I for one certainly don’t want to see it become our forever normal.

There is a light at the end of this long, dark tunnel – right?

I miss the way things used to be, before COVID- 19 was running our lives. You remember those days: eating out at restaurants, congregating in groups of more than 10, going to festivals, enjoying concerts, having company over, going grocery shopping in the store – those were the good old days.

Admittedly, my pandemic routine has been more drastic than most. My compromised immune system, due to my liver transplant almost three years ago, has made me take my health more seriously than I probably would have, otherwise.

My life pretty much exists in a bubble these days. I spend most of my time at home. Funny thing I discovered because of COVID-19 is in this day and age you can do just about everything from home.

Work from home? No problem, we’ll give you access to your work computer.

Lots of germs at the grocery store? Relax, there’s shopping online now.

Craving your favorite restaurant food? Order takeout and pick it up curbside.

Dog needs to go to see the vet? Drop him off curbside and pick him up when they’re done.

You need to see a doctor? If it’s just a check-up there’s now a way to see the doctor virtually.

Miss your friends and family? Sit back and invite them all to a Zoom meeting on your computer.

Want to check out the latest summer blockbuster, but the theater’s closed due to COVID? Never fear – streaming services are here!

Yes, with a computer and an internet connection, you can do just about anything these days. It has made staying at home during quarantine much easier for us than those poor folks in the 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic.

It’s also proven just how dependent we have become as a society on our gadgets and Internet.

I can think of all the times I told my kids too much screen-time is a bad thing (just like our folks told us too much TV was going to fry our brains), but now we want to set them in front of a computer all day so they can attend school virtually.

Like I said at the beginning of this column, this can’t be the “new normal.” Fine, if we have to rely on these amenities to get through this pandemic, then so be it, but don’t let it become our way of life after this is over.

I want to return to eating at my favorite restaurant, visiting my friends and family in person and checking out a flick at the movie theater – even if I spend $30 on a ticket and popcorn.

I can’t make a sentimental comment about going grocery shopping – that’s one I really don’t miss, so I may have to stick to placing my orders online once the pandemic is over. But for everything else, I’ll take the old normal any day.

Gary Gould is the managing editor of the Genesee County View. Contact him at ggould@mihomepaper.com.