new normal or new routine?

Merriam Webster defines the noun “normal” as “a form or state regarded as the norm; STANDARD”. Today, it is common to hear people speak of “the new normal” when referring to our “pandemically” changed lives, suggesting that our way of life has been forever transformed into a new “state regarded as the norm”. I reject this notion. The term “the new normal” when invoked to describe the impact of the Carona virus on our daily lives suggests that it has affected a permanent change to our lives; that our lives will never return to what they once were. I am unwilling to concede such a “defeat”. Rather, I prefer to view the pandemic as causing temporary changes to my daily routine which the dictionary defines as “a regular course of procedure”.

So why is this important? What difference does it make if it is a new normal or a new routine? To me, it is the difference between hope and despair; between confronting the pandemic’s challenges and buckling under them; between making wise short term decisions that protect the future and making decisions that consider only the present and ignore future consequences. It is the difference between looking beyond today’s trying times to a brighter day and being mired in the current stresses and difficulties.

I prefer to look to the day when my life returns to normal. In the meantime, I will just have to continue to adjust my routine to accommodate the pandemic.

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