Whether we like it or not, we are all living a new normal. How long this normal will last is anyone’s guess. I am sure the repercussions will be with us for some time. None of that is important. It’s how we choose to get through the new stress of our new normal.
The new normal is brought to you by Coronavirus also known as COVID-19.
This August, with God’s oversight, I will turn 57. Not in my lifetime have I or we seen anything like this.
We certainly are living in trying times. I ventured into a grocery store yesterday morning 45-minutes after it had opened. This was my first foray into any store since this all started one week ago. I knew this store would be busy as its location straddles several neighborhoods and a very large university campus. I needed coffee and a Sunday paper and wanted to add a few extra rolls of toilet paper to our stash. Now I say stash like it’s Fort Knox. It’s not. It’s just my wife and I. Our kids are grown and gratefully doing well. We already had 12-rolls of the beloved TP but you just never know. I witnessed people with full shopping carts and some with shopping carts loaded almost to the point of overflowing. I’m not going to lie. I had with my my concealed carry permit and I was carrying. I had no idea what to expect. I saw people wearing medical masks and rubber gloves. People hurried about their tasks as if the end of the world was approaching and this would be the last time they would go shopping. Gone was the relaxed pace with which we are accustomed.
People are in some cases self-quarantining. Hell, as an Introvert I’ve been self-quarantining my entire life. Fols, this just makes sense. I know it sucks. It sucks for all of us but we don’t need this spreading farther and faster than it can. We all know about the “curve.” Help flatten that curve and it’ll make it that much better to get over.
The other day, I returned home from my office, I put my bag down and poked my head around the corner to look into the living room. There was Chase my five-year-old grandson calmly sitting and playing his video game without a care in the world. He is lucky to not have to deal with all the cruelty in this world especially as it relates to the empty shelves in grocery stores and the panic which I am assuming is just beginning. I can only think what my grandparents and great-grandparents had to deal with as they navigated through the Great Depression. Perhaps this time of stress will help us to get back what I think we have lost both in this country and in this world, compassion.
When you’re out and about picking up provisions for your family, please think about everyone else. Think about the people who can’t get to the store and replenish what they need. You don’t need 10-gallons of milk like I saw someone the other day. And when the store manager tells you there is a limit of 2-gallons of milk, please don’t be an asshole and yell and scream at them. They’re trying to make sure there is enough for others and that your rude ass isn’t taking everything.
None of us are going to like the end result of this pandemic but it is what it is. As of right now I’m assuming my retirement has been wiped out. Like my wife said the other day, “We’re all going to be pushed back to “Go” to collect $200.” For those of you who have never played Monopoly, that’s a reference from that board game.
Knowing what I know about people and how many of us respond to fear by reacting, this is going to get worse before it gets better. I will also continue to self-quarantine. As I am considered an “essential” employee I will continue to drive to my office and provide teletherapy to those clients who continue to desire to be engaged in the therapy process.
Breathe people. Just breathe. We will get through this.