The New Normal- Life in the time of Coronavirus

Stop, pause from the noise of BC (Before Coronavirus) and breathe. Our health and that of our family and friends is the most important thing to think about and in many cases the only thing to think about. Stop and be present. This is not optional.

If, like me, this is totally foreign to you then the shock and realigning period is very real. The radio and TV announcements sound like something from a Sci Fi movie……     ‘ You can only leave your house for….’  My young adult children who pride themselves on their independence, decision making ability and freedom are now housebound. The frustration, bewilderment and disbelief are palpable.

However, two weeks later a new normal has come to light, one which has changed the outlook and rhythm and motion of our lives.

A daily walk or run as offered feels criminal to ignore and this function alone is different than BC. There are new social rules, as you approach another human the act of moving away is now polite, in fact it is downright rude not to change your course and 3 meters is about the acceptable range. This is followed by a nod, half smile and a polite ‘good morning ‘or ‘afternoon’.

The new normal is to acknowledge each other in adversity, offer a sense of comradeship and empathy that we are one force, one army fighting this unseen enemy together.

Technology has sprung into life and our business now uses not only the traditional Skype and Facetime but also Zoom and Houseparty. However, this is now fundamental in our wellbeing on a personal level as well as professional, it is important to have conversations with family and friends, laugh and have those happy moments, this is the stuff that will get us through everything in the next weeks and months.

Becoming grateful for the moments of support however small does not take away the gravity of the situation. Being grateful shows that a horrible situation does not permanently crush or destroy our spirits.

One interesting factor moving forward will be what society looks like on the other side?

Will we still operate remotely, work from home, keep a physical measured distance?

In the last few days there have seen many articles saying that this is the permanent new norm and I for one find this worrying.

Not being able to hug family members from a different household this last two weeks has felt like torture. The thought that concerts, theatres, parties, flashmobs, marches, international travelling freedom could all be a thing of the past surely goes against human nature at its very core.

Yes, video meetings and gatherings will have their place, save time, save money and keep us all more connected but for me the joy of a shared experience, the freedom to go anywhere and do anything with anyone and the warmth of being with other humans will surely still underpin us all AC.

30th March 2020

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