Living the new normal

We live in the new normal. So, when was your last day of the old normal?

Were you heading into work? Dropping off your dry cleaning or the children at school?

When’s the last time you sat in a restaurant and had dinner?

Some of us can vaguely remember the last time we shook someone’s hand or didn’t touch a supermarket carriage without sanitizing it throroughly.

More importantly, when is the last time you hugged a friend or fearlessly stood beside someone in a store?

When did you last see your loved one in person as he or she remains in a nursing care facility?

What if someone dropped something on the street – your reaction might be to help them by picking it up. Now we can only help ourselves and those, by putting a physical space between us.

No one used to think twice about handling the nozzle and pumping gas. Now, we think again.

Every time we sit in a chair, watching TV for the umpteenth hour, we wince as we catch ourselves resting our chin on our arm. That’s not normal.

In downtown Nashua, when is the last time you had to drive around the block, looking for a parking space? Today, they’re giving them away.

March is a haze. Some say the day that everything changed was March 11.

On that Wednesday, things began to unravel.

Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for coronavirus. We watched the stock market take a nosedive while a visibly shaken President Trump addressed the nation on the U.S.’s quick response to the pandemic and attempted to reassure viewers.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo became an important player in this COVID-19 crisis. He sent the National Guard to create a containment zone around a viral hotspot in New Rochelle.

We saw some of the last sporting events on that day, including the shocking news that an NBA player had tested positive for the virus and then the league suspended its season. We knew it was like a house of cards until we felt the local impact on the dreaded Friday the 13th when the Masters Tournament was postponed.

We now live in the new normal, where we are faced in a tough standoff between us and the virus. There is no playbook, no owner’s manual. Just a new instinct.

The old instinct would insist we help that older person reach a shelf at a store or aid them with their groceries. That was the “old” us.

We need to remember what life was like so we recognize it when we get it back. We ask the heavens, to get it back.