Recently, I sat in on a zoom meeting where one of the participants used the term now normal several times. She made the point that we’re in a time when we can forget about how things were last year, whatever we’re doing now and how we’re doing it is normal. I got the distinct impression from listening to her that we do whatever we have to, during now, to get things done. I would say it’s all about adaptation. Adaption is a uniquely human skill that history shows we’re good at when circumstances dictate.
The now normal may be the reality; however, accepting that reality doesn’t make life any easier. Case in point, while pushing my grocery cart through the supermarket yesterday, a total stranger interrupted my agonizing experience of looking at the now normal prices on the shelves. He said with seemingly much disgust that,” These prices are ridiculous!” He said he’d seen a report on the news indicating that we’re going to be seeing fewer items on the shelves, while simultaneously seeing prices rise. I told him that I certainly felt his pain, and that prices are rising weekly. He respectfully corrected me by saying that prices are rising daily, at least it seemed that way.
I majored in sociology, with a minor in history for my undergraduate degree. Economics were a part of my studies. I must admit, I never fully comprehended the principles presented in those studies. For example, why doesn’t the humungous industrial complex prepare for those global rainy days like the ones the pandemic has presented? Common sense should tell us that production could be interrupted at any given time, affecting supply chains, and offering fewer finished products to the consumer. Remember the supply shortage of paper products we had to deal with early into the pandemic? I’m sure you’re more astute at understanding all of this than I, so forgive my ignorance.
We’re entering the third year of the pandemic, and there have been innumerable changes to occur in terms of how we do business, how we worship, how we live from one day to the next. Our ability to keep up attempts to squeeze the best life we can out of whatever comes our way continues. This penchant for keeping on keeping on reminds me of the Borg. Excuse my science fiction metaphor. Please, let me explain. The Borg are a cybernetic group of creatures who are part of the Star Trek franchise. They improve their race by acquiring other beings from different worlds, implanting them with technologies to increase their physical abilities, and making them part of a larger singularly operating group. Whenever a Borg is attacked, it automatically goes into a mode which allows it to adapt, preventing, for example, the beam of subatomic particles shot from a phaser weapon to harm them. In other words, they go with the flow, as most of us have done over the last two years. To keep a Borg down, your weapon must continually rotate frequencies, preventing the Borg from adapting. That sounds like the covid-19 virus, rotating from one variant to the next, trying to take us out.
Normality is continually changing. You’re changing to keep up because you must survive and thrive. It doesn’t make it any less stressful, does it?
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.