What would you like the new “Normal” to be?

Sometimes Facebook can be really good and useful and at other times it can be the means of real harm. In this time of COVID-Crisis it has become a place for friends and family to gather together, churches (like Good Shepherd) to broadcast their services, and for connections to be made for food delivery, workout ideas, and just good fun and distraction. On the other hand, disinformation continues to be spread like the spring manure behind the spreaders in the fields and, when tempers and emotions are at the breaking point, real friendships can be harmed. This past week though I saw the good and encouraging side.

I am trying to spend some of my time honing my birding skills.

I posted a question and received some wonderful and thoughtful responses. “Others have been pointing out getting back to “normal” may not be a desirable goal. There are many things about the old normal that presumably are best changed. So…what are some aspects of the ‘new normal’ that you hope become the standard normal?”

We are asking this question within academia now and that is a serious and important conversation that will continue for quite some time, particularly with the uncertainty of how soon we will, if not return to “normal,” then leave this current state. In the meantime, I thought I would share many of the responses I received below. Some are humorous, all are thoughtful, and I hope many will become our “new normal.”

  • That we all retain the deep sense that every human is inextricably bound to every other human.
  • I hope employers will see the value in work from home and traffic will be permanently reduced.
  • Let’s retain the 6 foot distance from everyone but immediate family
  • That we don’t take each other for granted and that we remain creative in showing love.
  • Less traffic would be nice. 🤷🏻‍♂️
  • Closely examining whether a purchase, or trip to the store is really necessary as well as valuing our family and friends.
  • It’s actually a blast from the past–real phone calls just because
  • Maybe people who don’t generally recognize that government has a legitimate role in solving societal problems, or who don’t even recognize the cognitive category of societal problems, will be more inclined to accept a role for government in solving those problems. Yeah, like that’ll happen.
  • Social distancing 😎
  • Along the lines of government’s role, etc., came across this provocative op-ed from Henry Kissinger titled: “The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World Order; The U.S. must protect its citizens from disease while starting the urgent work of planning for a new epoch … ” Unfortunately, the op-ed is behind the WSJ Link to the full article here. Here is a report (by an entity funded by the Chinese government, it seems) that summarizes Kissinger’s article — as well as provides some opinions of its own.
  • That telework becomes more widely accepted, that we leave margin in our schedules, that I cook more and eat out less, with a real focus on local businesses when I do eat out.
  • That employers see value in work life balance and nightly family dinners together, it has been a gift in that regard ❤️
  • Praying twice a day with [my child], reading bible with him. More intentional conversations and building of trust. Making space to FaceTime or zoom with the important ones in our lives… speaking of… texting you now lol.
  • Two off the top of my head:
    – we haven’t been to a grocery store in weeks, opting instead to visit local farms and markets… I do not miss the grocery store one bit.
    – virtual calls. I will ALWAYS prefer to see people in person. I have also been inundated with tooo many Zoom meetings as a result of working from home.
    That being said, my wife and I have been having Virtual Happy Hours with friends from across the country, and it’s been so good to see their faces and hear their voices. I think because of where we are right now, people are embracing (or at least not as intimidated by) the “new” technology, and I hope it remains folded in as another option for communication and connection moving forward.
  • When you are sick (even just a cold), it is your responsibility to wear a face mask when in public and social distance. This already happens in several Asian countries
  • A few
    • Being “in the moment” with my kids.
    • Spending 2 hours a day in my yard.
    • Cooking at home often.
    • Playing music every day.
    • Sleeping in if I feel like it. 😉
  • That we prioritize mental health and believe someone when they say “I’m unable to do X today”.
  • I hope that employers will see the value in having dogs and cats join us at work. They make everyone smile.
  • That teachers, hourly workers need to be paid more.. and health care for all is paramount!
  • If you can work from home or if you are out of work, that staying home with your kids. And having them play outside in the yard is better than driving everyone to soccer and t-ball and dance and cheer and and and …..
  • I like the revival of parody songs.
  • Concern for helping those in need and also support for local businesses.
  • More telecommuting.
  • This situation is close to an introvert’s paradise so more appreciation from extraverts that everyone doesn’t always have to be together for successful project management or reaching of goals.
  • More family time!
  • Everyone going for walks with their family frequently
  • Zoom Happy Hours!

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