Normal is a word, we have been hearing a lot of lately. Can’t wait until things get back to normal. What will the new normal look like? Will we ever get back to normal? Normal is defined as, conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected. Most reporting in the media is optimistic, that we will return to some kind of normalcy. The way things have gone lately, that seems hard to believe. We seem to be in a never ending spiral of flattening the curve, with little reduction in the number of cases, on a day to day basis. In fact, it is rather freaky, how each day, seems to be about the same, in each state, on the number of cases per day. In the 22 days of May, there have been 17 days, where the new cases have totaled between 20 and 26 thousand per day, in the United States. Three days, there were over 26,000 cases, but two of those were the first two days of May. There have been 2 days under 20,000 cases with last one being May 17th. For 17 out of 20 days, the new cases have not varied by more than 2 to 3 thousand per day in the entire country. There are 18 states where the number of cases are decreasing but 4 of those states were some of the hardest hit, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Jersey. There are 8 states that the cases are increasing. People keep talking about a vaccine, but even the most optimistic estimates are at the first of the year, and that’s with no set backs. How likely do you think that is, when trying to make a vaccine for a disease, that we don’t totally understand, yet. So what are the chances of seeing a normal life in 2020?
I would say slim and none. That does not mean, that we will not be doing a little more than we are doing now, but for this year, this is what I think will not return. Fans in the stands. Team sports, if they are played at all this year, will be in empty stadiums. Restaurants will not even be close to normal, if they even open at all. Waiters with masks on, my appetite is disappearing as I type. Youth sports are done for this year. Mall shopping will be at 20% volume. Air travel will be lucky to be at 30% capacity, especially since they showed how irresponsible they have been, by packing planes and risking people’s lives. Hotels and motels with be no better. Travel in general, will be way down, for the entire year. Jobs will be non existent, in the above areas. Staying at home, and having a good time with known friends and family, will be the new normal. Hopefully, there will be some live sports to watch on television. In nice weather, there will be some outside dining to be enjoyed. But life as we have known it, is officially gone. Get use to it. Make the best of it. Wear a mask if you go into a place of business. Maybe summer will help in defeating the virus. I think there is more of a chance of a treatment than a vaccine that may help get us back to our previous life. There is only one thing certain at this point and that is the virus is ruling the country for the next 7 months.
For now, meditate and be appreciative for what you have. Good health, and well being, and hope that the people closest to you, stay healthy. Even with this new normal, life can be good. There is joy, in just being outside, and breathing some clean air, and the air is a lot cleaner, since everybody has had to stay home. People will have to adapt, and find a new way to make a living, in many cases. This pandemic has and will make life difficult for the next 12 to 24 months guaranteed. The great depression lasted 11 years and we have people now, that can not or will not shelter in place for 3 months, for the health and safety of the nation. Normal now, will be sacrifice and suffering both economically and medically and there is nothing that can be done about it. It’s time to buckle in and hang on, and hope that things don’t get worse. For now, the virus is the new normal but hopefully not super long. Take a deep breath.