How Normal is the New Normal For You?

A photo of a cafe - a woman is sitting against the wall at a table, working on her laptop, wearing a fabric mask for COVID safety. It's the "new normal."
Photo by Bagir Bahana.

I have to be honest: everyone is talking about the losses we are still feeling and grieving during this pandemic, and I feel like I'm on a totally different wavelength.

Pandemic life is, in many ways, "regular life": I go to work and then do things most evenings after work, with a few tweaks that make it "the new normal" instead of "normal."

Life is what it used to be, except...

... everything I do with another person is by default outdoors and planned for easy spacing/no contact.

... my friends and I do that weird fake air-hug thing and/or toe tap when we see each other.

... I always have a mask with me for when I need to go into a shop or really any indoor space that's not my home or office.

... I wash my hands and disinfect things a lot more often.

... I no longer have a bunch of theatre invitations that I feel obligated (or, occasionally, excited) to attend.

... some of the "things I do after work" are via video chat instead of in-person.

The losses of COVID (still thinking about all those hugs I used to give and receive with such abandon), got buried pretty quickly by the added work involved in doing things (anything, really) under COVID. The extra level of planning, communication, and emotional care leaves little time to think about anything else.

The new normal: feeling just as busy as ever while wearing a homemade fabric mask and applying hand sanitizer.

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