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Dear normal. You were really great before!

Dear normal

Everyone wants your return. It seems that in this last stage of the epidemic, it is celebrated every day when someone talks about Normal with emotions. It will come back to you, start a new one with you. Everything is about norms and normalcy. Everything about you.

As for me, I’m not so interested in the normal. I postpone Taylor Swift. We never, ever և ever get back together.

It was normal to want to go back to normal from the beginning. Last year, in those first months, your dream was a constant daily escape from all the endless horrible possibilities. I wanted my life back. I wanted control.

Complaining about movement or being too busy was common in BC. (before COVID) era. But in those early days, worldliness was what we longed for. Pack a subway car, have an unplanned drink with a friend, hug your parents, start a conversation with a stranger.

And all these Normal desires seemed completely incomprehensible. When will we be able to go to a crowded area? If we could, would we? After that, the answer felt like no one, especially in our ears, constantly mourning the mortal և death. The fear of the unknown was like a weighted blanket, but one that provided no comfort or warmth.

It was then that I most longed for my Normal.

I was not alone. Over the past year, our obsession with normalcy has surfaced on Google, with the highest search engine growth occurring around mid-April, when it seemed like we might have been able to resume life as we once knew.

The search for normalcy grew again in September, around the start of the school year վերջին vacation in late November. But, as the search trends show, these desires for normality are constantly being pursued, fading and evolving.

The collective desire for normalcy has long caused panic as President Donald Trump promised to reopen America by Easter 2020. That much has already changed. But then he felt that we could just get back to normal with the tap of a finger.

In June, the permanent power of the epidemic was clearer, ժամանակ then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said: “We can not return to normal. We need new regimes. ” A few months later, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said: “We will start turning the staple again to return to normal.”

At that time my brain was screaming. No way: Do others feel the same way every time they utter a new Normal, an old Normal, any Normal? Returning to you would mean that we do not question the facts of the case, that we ignore the cracks discovered, forget the lessons learned, good or bad.

The experience of living through a year of deviation is like the fast-paced fiery numbers in Billy El O’Leary’s “We Didn’t Start a Fire,” condensed into one hectic year. The world is closing, racial reckoning, divisive elections. Loss after loss. A previously unimaginable attack on the peaceful transfer of American power. Fiery swearing-in ceremony. Multiple Vaccines – աշխարհի A brief overview of the outside world.

Going back to normal after going through all of this is more and more like going back to a lover we just can’t seem to leave.

In BC, adaptation sometimes felt very different. It allows you to recover from jetlag և get used to the new time zone for days, sometimes hours. It allows us to move from a warm winter coat to an incredible spaghetti ribbon dress when the summer heat comes. It makes a new home.

The past year has given new meaning to adaptation. Many have a new perspective on their potential. Impossible things became possible. Maintain relationships online և endure for a long time ընտանի family և friends or someone. A whole harvest of young people who have been gifted after robbing big and small moments. We got used to it. We normalized the incredible.

Now, in the last phase of epidemic life, the echoes of this incredible life are creeping into my dreams, leaving me in a wandering place like Walt Disney World without a mask, or as the only exposed face of a sea of ​​masked people. “That’s normal,” the therapist told me. “Everyone sees these dreams.”

Well, great – more normal, which I did not ask for.

The thing about normalcy is that it is never universal. My Normal is not yours. And because of this, it perpetuates life inequalities, many of which have been removed by the epidemic.

These are problems that do not have easy solutions, they may not even be solved in our lifetime. Of course, many people may want to change everything. But will they commit to it? Or will it be such a new resolution adopted, which is violated in a month or two?

When we have the green light to start life again, to enter a new Normal, what will we keep from this moment? Are we really going to be rude? Will we care more about job flexibility, employee protection, and access to medical coverage? Will the fight against racism, at the forefront of zeal, become a priority or will it be forgotten? Will mass shootings be an exception rather than a painful rule?

Will there be a systemic change?

“Pandemic” author Sonia Shah probably said about John von Oliver’s last series of “Last Week Today”.

“Usually we go back to work, everything ends, as soon as we have medicine, as soon as we get vaccinated,” he said. “We are not really making a fundamental social change.”

We have already felt it. When life changed, there was a period of adjustment. It took some time to get used to. Then we did. This is happening again in the United States right now as more people get vaccinated and the rate of infection decreases. Normal tweaks are already pulling.

For all the growth և changes and adjustments that have taken place over the past year, it is difficult to even determine what post-epidemic normalcy might mean. The dictionary simply defines it as standard, ordinary, typical or expected. Is that really what we want? “If you always try to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be,” Maya Angelu once said.

Without Normal, the path to progress is wider, the possibilities wider. What if there was a whole lot of wonder that would be lost if Normal returned? What if, instead of pursuing normalcy, we focus on that unique ability to adapt and develop? Maybe this is the way to go, instead of just coming to terms with what happened, trying to recreate something that already had its day.

In any case, it is too late. Remember, Normal. You, we are already divorced.

___

Sophia Rosenbaum is the editor of The Associated Press in New York. Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophrosenba

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