[San Juan Silver Stage | Winter 2020/2021 | Kathryn R. Burke]
It’s been a tough — no, make that really rotten! year. And even with a promising vaccine distribution (in limited does that will help a small sector of the population by next summer), impending legislation (a day late and dollar short, unfortunately) to “save” small businesses (that have so far survived) and keep beleagured schools open in the face of Covid, and with a barely-accepted, imminent change of administration (that can’t stop disastrous, sometimes violent, political bickering and partisanship) … we are a LONG way from achieving well-being and economic stability.
About the only relief we’ve had—something that has helped keep us going and promises to continue doing so—is reliable, high-speed internet. It’s literally been a life-saver. With it, many of us can … virtually… conduct business, provide education, offer telemed services, as we try to establish a “new normal” in the most “un-normal” times the world has ever seen since the demise of the dinosaurs. Of course, we’ve also had to learn how to make it work…or follow the path of denizens of the Mesozoic era.
Nearly a year into Covid, what was now isn’t. We’re traveling along a one-way street to a new world. There’s no “going back to normal.” This IS (the new) normal now. Government mandates, lockstep obedience, social distancing, self-isolating, fear that determines fashion. Confusing news: mass media, social media, and politicians spreading mis- and dis-information, and truth as the reader/follower perceives it. Masks. A country divided: hate and political, religious, and ethnic divisiveness. An economy in disarray. Democracy threatened. Home schooling and working from home. A new vocabulary: Zooming, live-streaming, video-conferencing, virtual everything. Most of all, new habits learned from fear, followed without determining, understanding, or knowing supportive facts. Once learned, sensible or not, these new habits have become…the new normal. Twelve (or more) long months into Covid and there’s no “going back.” Instead, we are moving forward into an ever-changing world.