What’s our new normal?
When will the threat of Covid19 end?
All of us want to know this… whether it’s the kids at home longing to see their friends at school, students wanting to apply for summer jobs, you and me seeking paying work, or grandparents wanting to participate in their grandchildren’s lives. We want to see our families, our friends; we want to see schools reopen; we want to see people being safe: whether it be our medical professionals, our precious elderlies in residential care – everyone.
We want, more than anything, to return to normal life.
We need, more than anything, to remain resolute as we flatten the curve to help defeat this virus.
Everyone is coping because of course, we have no choice. So what will our future be after Covid19 withdraws enough so that we can reconsider “normal life”?
Many people are telling me that amid all this fear and upheaval, they are rediscovering themselves, their families, their friends because they suddenly have time.
Communication is everything
What are you doing to stay in touch with relatives and friends? A father said his daughter celebrated her fourth birthday with her friends — using a video-based social-media platform. Similarly, relatives of ours in BC enjoy regular Saturday suppers with friends this way: one couple suggests a recipe, everyone cooks it for the next gathering, completely transforming what “eating together” is.
In fact, communicating via video conferencing is the new norm. Will that end post-Covid19? Likely no, because it permits people to work efficiently from home, where daily commuting and business meetings involving air travel become unnecessary.
But remember that during Covid19, if we don’t have Internet, communication remains very possible. Use your telephone. Pick up a pen or dust off that “heritage” typewriter to write a letter — and mail it.
And within our homes? Families are walking together. Playing board games. Creating art and science projects. Watching movies. Baking bread and meals from scratch. Planting seeds for a garden. Enjoying our pets.
Covid19 is encouraging us to redefine communications with those we love.
When I ordered my delivery from Joanne’s ValuMart in Shawville last week, I was impressed that Pontiac Liberal MNA, André Fortin, delivered our groceries. Born in Quyon, Fortin knows and deeply loves our region – and as our MNA he feels he needs to understand, personally, how his constituents are coping with self-isolation. That’s admirable.
He said his heart goes out to those who are alone. “They’re finding this really, really hard,” he mentioned. We spent about ten minutes chatting, and I was deeply impressed with his obvious interest in how my husband and I are personally faring. This is more than a gesture from a politician: this is demonstrating what it is to live in and spread the notion of a caring, compassionate community.
If Covid19 does nothing else, it is reminding us how we can contribute to family, friends, colleagues, shut-ins.
What are we waiting for?
Let’s let “random acts of kindness”, volunteerism, communication go viral. It’s time. This can be our new post-Covid19 norm.
Katharine Fletcher is a freelance writer, author, and visual artist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and view her art at facebook.com/KatharineFletcherArtist/