Abnormal Times

I’m living in abnormal times, and I’m tired of it. I yearn for the return to normal.

These days are a departure from normalcy for a set of unrelated reasons. First was the presidency of Donald Trump that turned the political world on its head. Then came the coronavirus lockdown that has lasted more than a year. And now the cicadas are out, filling the air with their screech and littering the ground with their ugly bodies.

All this will end. Already, the new president, Joe Biden, is working to correct the depravities inflicted by Trump. The lockdown is ending as more people are vaccinated, masks are gradually disappearing, and people are meeting face-to-face. And while the cicadas haven’t hit their peak yet, I know they will disappear at the end of the month.

But the normal I once knew is gone forever. Biden will not only reverse many of Trump’s worst policies but is already introducing massive changes of his own that will alter the face of America. The changes will help. But the world as I knew it will no longer exist.

The cicadas will eventually fade away. All they will leave behind is unpleasant memories and buried eggs that will hatch seventeen years from now.

And the lockdown? As is becoming clearer to me by the day, the normal we’ll arrive at is not the normal I was used to before all this began. We’ve learned, among other things, that people can work very effectively from home. We now know that remoted meeting, with all participants using computers and webcams, works as well as face-to-face get-togethers. We found out how easy and effective it is to order goods online rather than buying them at a store. I suspect that we have become fonder than ever of eating in restaurants, something we couldn’t do for a year. I expect the number and popularity of restaurants to grow.

So yearn as I may for a return to the normal I knew before all this began, it’s obvious we’re not going back there. We’re going somewhere else instead, and I’ll have to adjust to whatever “normal” turns out to be.

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