How to be normal when nothing is normal. It is the title of someone’s future book. How to create normalcy when nothing is normal. It is Thanksgiving week. I took vacation time. I am off. With nowhere to go. I am not whining or whinging (as the Brits say). But this is not a normal Thanksgiving. The coronavirus rages across all of America. No corner, village, burg or metropolis if left untouched. The virus spreads unchecked. The rapid tests that they sold us and told us would give us immediate results don’t give accurate results. The false positive rate and the false negative rate make the tests essentially a game of Russian roulette. It gave us all a false sense of security. Get a negative test and you are all clear to fly or visit your family. Except the tests are wrong. Would we trust our family, our lives, our economy of a pregnancy tests that was inaccurate 1 out of 3 times? 30% wrong answers.
Nothing is normal. We had an election. There is a clear winner. Yet, the loser stands in obstruction, his cadre blocking and fomenting discord. In the week of Thanksgiving. The week we celebrate our country’s founding. When our forefathers fled religious persecution from the British Crown to find a free world. (We’ll look away from the atrocities committed in the name of white freedoms as the expense of Native lives and enslaved lives). But, the norm of this week is to celebrate our country’s solid institutions. And yet, we are gridlocked. And the current occupant of the White House blocks the transition teams from starting their work. And it’s not because the current administration is doing a fine, bang-up job of addressing the coronavirus or the pandemic or the fallout on the economy due to the pandemic. Nope. They golf. They go on Sunday news shows and tout their garbage. The norm in this country in a time of crisis is to be part of the solution. And if you are not part of the solution, then get out of the way and those among us who are willing to put their shoulders to the wheel do what is necessary.
But there is no normal. Grocery stores are back to dealing with panic buying. Cleaning supplies and toilet paper. In Thanksgiving week. And people don’t wear masks despite the fact that the virus is airborne and STAYS airborne for hours.
But what is normal? Has normal changed? What is the new normal? What will be required to adapt. Humans do not evolve easily. We go kicking and screaming. We resist. We dig in. But this may be to our own detriment and possible demise. The agile survive. And the new normal may be simply about surviving. And when you are a occupant of the First World, the concept of survival is foreign. It is for fiction like The Walking Dead. Or third world countries. But this is not normal.