The New Normal

Last spring, I lived by the mantra “this is not normal,” and like so many others, I rejected the idea that this pandemic would continue through the summer, let alone fall. Now it’s September, and life as we knew it continues to be shut down, forcing me to acknowledge and accept some new norms. And while I don’t want to return to much of pre-pandemic life, I’m not excited about residing in the current status quo forever, or even beyond next Tuesday. 

Add on continued police violence against Black people, increased right-wing hate mongering and early-season wildfires causing long stretches of unhealthy air, and it can be hard to find anything positive. I certainly fell into a dark place (see my last blog post, “Pandemic Depression”). But in month #6 of Covid-living, I can now acknowledge that a few parts of this “new normal” are not all bad:

  1. My Peloton instructor is my new best friend. We spend quality time together, chit-chatting and listening to great tunes. She is unconditionally supportive and is always offering positive advice – just what I need during this stressful time. And I didn’t even need to buy a $5000 tread or bike; for just $9.99/month I have her on demand at all times.
  2. My 9-year-old has become a data-geek, monitoring the air quality on Purple Air throughout the day, and alerting the family when it’s safe to go outside.
  3. We were able to ask: “Which incredibly intelligent and amazingly talented black woman will Biden be selecting as his running mate?” 
  4. I let my children roam the neighborhood alone. (I was so not that parent six months ago.)
  5. Curbside garden boxes are now “a thing” in my pseudo-urban neighborhood.
  6. My kids are healthier now that they don’t interact with anyone. (On the flip-side, we have to assume that every sniffle is the Coronavirus.)
  7. I will drive any distance, in any weather, and at any level of air quality, to get my kids into a swimming pool.
  8. My Peloton instructor is also my new therapist. She can just see inside my head and knows exactly what to say to me (because she is talking directly to me and not the 1,300 other people taking her 20-minute Upper Body Strength Class.)
  9. Alone time is achieved by grocery shopping. Am I the only one who appreciates the long-ass line to get into Trader Joe’s? 
  10. My desire for heirloom tomatoes, coupled with my fear of crowded farmer’s markets led me to plant six different varieties (in my curb-side garden boxes of course). I suppose necessity brings forth new hobbies and talents, along with a shit-ton of tomatoes.


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