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New normal — a beginning… but what is it?




This oft-bandied about term that is on everybody’s lips and spewing from keyboards in the last few days is now something that it getting the ire of netizens and pundits.

The new normal. But why is it? Is it because people are coming to a realization that perhaps what used to be wasn’t all it cracked up to be? That what we all thought was working, was not actually working? This of course is subjective to each of us and will vary vastly in terms of experience. The things that were all constant for us all though was that the environment was going to the doghouse; commercialism and capitalism were dominating our behavior; social media is the main mode of communication; everything is going digital; media is god and traffic in the world’s city streets was as natural as breathing.

We can philosophize about this until ECQ (enhanced communit quarantine) is over, so perhaps it is better to see what is in store, and what indeed constitutes the new normal. As we are living under a dry run of new normal, we already have a basic idea of how things will go. Less physical contact, more of social distancing and more of hyper hygienic practices. In other words, every paranoid introverted hypochondriac’s dream.

But as humans, our species are social beings and are meant to be with others. “No man is an island,” author John Donne once wrote. “No one is self-sufficient; everyone relies on others.” Well there are those who would like to differ, and not only have practiced self-sufficiency, but have made it into an art form (that may be for a whole other article).

The digital world has proven to be the best accomplice to this, making it able to perform work, play and other forms of everyday activities through a click of a mouse, or a swipe of your thumb on a screen all from the comfort of our homes. This seems to be the way that we are going to be operating for real from now on, daily and as a norm.

We say and perhaps even be glad that we have proper training, right? But what was once a dream discussion of work from home practices, free online concerts, museum tours and shows have now become a reality.

So here we are, bringing what used to be physical into a digital realm, a new norm, a new reality that we set ourselves up for marvelously. We are now living in a reality that the biggest most important commodity is your bandwidth or data plan, to ensure we are kept connected from trying to get food for our homes or getting transactions done. And though there are things that digital cannot give us, like hugs and the adrenaline of seeing a live show, I am sure that we will be seeing the innovative and wonderful things that can be seen, heard and done now that we’re online, forcibly through a pandemic or not.

We are facing a new chapter of human history, and will be part of it whether we like it or not; in its writing for the inevitable hindsight that will come for our future generations. It will also show in how we face this new norm as it comes; excitement or trepidation, or even both, fight or flight, as a challenge to rise or allow fear and paranoia to rule our actions. One thing is for sure; this will be one hell of an interesting ride. Let’s all do our best to see it through, stay safe and keep going, and hopefully that this little series of articles can be of help in this during this crazy time.

So I’m hoping to join you on this trek in the most uncertain of times, and maybe we can all get through it together and with a little humor, a little grace and a lot of gumption. Here’s wishing we all stay safe, stay home and stay healthy. Let’s see what’s in store for us, together.

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