Will we ever get back to normal?
Societies have gone through all sorts of upheavals throughout history. When the upheaval part is over, we try to return to what was normal before (or at least to what we remember it as being.) Depending on how widespread that upheaval
was, we might succeed in that return, but most likely there will be changes, even if they are small ones.
In the years leading up to WWII, women wore silk stockings. During the war, women started wearing nylon stockings because we were at war, and silk was needed for parachutes. Once things returned to “normal”, silk stockings never did make a comeback. Nylon was here to stay.
The only constant is change.
It’s been about fifteen months now since we began our TWO WEEKS TO FLATTEN THE CURVE, and we have been far from what used to be normal ever since. Even in Texas, where we’re trying to make our return faster than more PROGRESSIVE places, things are strange. (Exactly how is that PROGRESS, by the way? What exactly are they progressing toward? The road to hell…?)
I remember in the early days of the shutdowns, when I would have to go to the store. There was hardly anyone on the roads. It was a bizarre feeling, like I was suddenly transported to a different town. The lack of traffic was actually distracting, and I had to focus harder on my driving to keep from getting in a single-car accident. I had the same sort of disorientation when traffic started increasing again (of course, the danger then was NOT single-car collisions.)
Store employees have been wearing masks for a year, and when they stop, they won’t seem the same people they have been for the last year or so. If you’ve been stuck in shutdown isolation for the last year, people you were used to seeing working those stores before the TWO WEEKS began may no longer be there. Or maybe the stores are gone, or redesigned into an unrecognizable landscape to accommodate more social distancing.
We humans rely on shortcuts to reduce the amount of input we need to respond to. There needs to be something familiar to hold onto that we don’t have to process – something we can be in autopilot about – or we stress into our fight or flight response. Right now, EVERYTHING is different, and we have to process a larger percentage of the input coming at us. This could be why we’re seeing so many incidents of road rage.
I remember at the beginning of all this, when President Trump (and others) warned that we couldn’t let the cure become worse than the disease, and were roundly denigrated by the gatekeepers of public discourse (Big Tech, the MSM, and the Democrat party.) We were cautioned about the dangers of shut-downs and isolation to the mental
health of the nation. Suicides. Substance abuse. Domestic violence.
I was watching a special about mental health, and a schizophrenic commented on how she moved to an unfamiliar place, thinking that it would improve her condition, but it did the opposite. An OCD individual illustrated their own need to have things exactly so or they were crippled by their compulsion. I am not a psychologist, just a thinker, but I believe that in both those conditions, they are dealing poorly with change – they need stability in most things around them, to be in that autopilot mode – so they can deal with the things that are different.
Who knows how long it will take us to arrive at a new normal where we can settle down. Let’s just hope we can all get there in one piece, without it sending too many more of us into an unmanageable state.
Are there any changes that you see normalizing that will take you some time to adjust to? Any that you don’t think you can deal with? Enquiring minds would like to know (at least I would.)
Please share your thoughts in the comments. Thanx!
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