Welcome to the new Normal

Another week has passed in self-isolation here in Devon.

People on our street, who we see while having coffee in the garden and shout out the news to (from a safe distance) all say the same thing.

When this is over and we get back to normal, we’ll…. (insert – have a party, see family, whatever).

I’m sorry to have to break it to you guys, but this is the start of the NEW normal.

It’s easy to think that when this is over, nothing will have changed, that life will resume as it was. Now anyone who has ever lost someone will know, things NEVER go back to the way they were. Suggesting that things should have been done differently with the benefit of hindsight will do us no good at all.

It’s perhaps difficult for everyone to comprehend but we all have lost something, not just those who have sadly lost a friend or relative but collectively, we have lost a way of life.

In the same way that in 1918, England was changed forever, this pandemic will see us emerge on the other side as a very different country (and world) to how we were going in.

It’s quite possible that a lot of what we remember will never reappear, familiar shops or companies might not survive. No doubt others will take their place, it will take time as we reset.

Is that necessarily a bad thing? Not if we don’t want it to be. If we chose which bits of this experience to keep. Like the sense of community, of helping each other, offering to get shopping for neighbours, the realisation that we’re all in it together.

We could lose the selfish, planet destroying attitude and live a bit more gently, having seen what just a few weeks of reduced consumption can do for pollution and the environment, wouldn’t it be nice to carry on making things better?

Do we really need to return to the worst excesses of modern living, to the incessant travelling to meetings for instance, now that we know we can do it just as well via Skype or Zoom?  Do we need to shave 20 minutes off the journey time from London to Birmingham when we can talk together without leaving home? 

Couldn’t that money be better spent preparing for the next time something like this happens? Or even, and this is really radical, valuing those that do the actual work? Helping local businesses and small food suppliers to recover by showing that we value them.

I must admit that I have a vested interest in the NHS, it saved my life after I was knocked off a motorbike. My wife is a retired nurse, my daughters all work in the health service. My eldest is a nurse on I.T.U. and is married to a consultant physician. My middle daughter is a midwife (she delivered a baby girl as the clapping finished on Thursday) while my youngest is a second-year student nurse. I’m so proud of them all for what they do without thinking of the cost.

They, along with a long list of everyone we don’t normally notice are the backbone of this country, not the bankers or politicians. They have kept everything running, they deserve recognition, praise and thanks, it would be nice to think that will still be forthcoming when the worst is over.

It will probably be the first real test of whether we have learned anything from this.

I hope everyone who reads this is coping and that your families are OK, stay inside and stay safe.

I’d love to get your comments, please leave them below. While you’re here, why not take a look around? There are some freebies and lots more content, about me, my writing and everything else that I do. You can join my newsletter for a free novella and more news by clicking this link.


6 Responses

  1. camilla

    Going on day 38 for us … Lovely post, Richard. May we all emerge on the other side of this a bit wiser, with a bit more compassion. It’s tough to see how that will happen with the incredible amount of arguing and disagreements. Yet, perhaps there will be at least a bit of forward movement in that direction. Take care.

    • Richard Dee

      Thanks for commenting. We can hope and strive. This could be the catalyst for a new beginning. Stay safe.

    • Richard Dee

      Agreed. It will be the best outcome if we can keep the good and get rid of (at least some of) the not so good.

  2. Caz Greenham

    Great post, Richard. We (the royal we) haven’t been out for 4 weeks. Geoff’s a High Risk: has been told to not go out for 12 weeks. I’m asthmatic so that includes me.
    It sure is a strange world now. I hardly ever get out of bed before 10a.m. And actually am enjoying this newly found slower pace of life. I do miss going out. Miss our beautiful sea etc, and eating out. And, of course, miss seeing grandchildren etc. However, it’s pleasing to watch our planet warm and heal. We humans were destroying the world that God created. I’m not a bible puncher, but I do believe ‘everything happens for a reason; good or bad’ – my belief, naturally. The skies are so blue on sunny days. No sky pollution. Birds sing louder showing their appreciation of our quiet, cleaner environment. Everywhere is green, spring has arrived. Our planet is healing. I noticed that at the exact time/day lockdown began and restrictions were put in place by our government that the heavy rains that we had for weeks; suddenly stopped. The sun shone, skies were blue and no longer seemed so angry at the world, below.
    My gran often said, God moves in mysterious ways. So true.
    Good follows bad, life will be different, a lot of healing for lost lives will change how we think and behave around others.

    Stay safe. Stay indoors. Kindness Matters.

    • Richard Dee

      So true Caz and thanks for commenting. I miss seeing my family, I’m incredibly proud of what they are doing and look forward to the time we can all be together. This is a lesson, it’s up to us whether we learn from it. I just hope that there is the will on all sides to get a positive outcome. Best to you and Geoff, stay safe.

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