Hello and welcome to the blog.
As Christmas fast approaches, we prepare to spend yet another 2020 holiday differently than in times past. We are getting used to the idea that Covid-19 is a year-old now, and we’re hoping that a vaccine will hit the shelves soon.
But what is normal, anyway? Is it shopping over the internet? Ordering delivery? Or is it working from home? In your pajamas. Normal is shifting in all kinds of ways. And whether we think it’s normal or not, or, if life will ever get back to what we thought was normal before remains to be seen. In the mean time, here are some ways things have changed, and ways we might change to cope.
1) Working from Home.
I work from home now. It’s not 100% of the time, but it’s a bunch. In fact, a lot of people in North America and overseas are commuting to their home offices every day for work. But it’s not a new concept. Many have done this back as far as 2012. And even before then. While it’s only really caught on over the last handful of years, the coronavirus has helped this niche to really boom. Which means fewer commutes. Fewer cars on the road, and fewer emissions too.
There are all kinds of challenges that come with working from home. Notably, needing reliable highspeed internet. And peace and quiet so that one can work undisturbed. Those are the big ones, though it’s also important that while working from home that we’re also not interrupting the lives of those we share our space with. It’s great being able to work at home, but it needs to be done in a way that doesn’t disrupt everyone else!
Another side of the lost commute is the gained time. Idle hands and all of that! As many places head into what many call a second or third wave of the pandemic we will find ourselves at home quite a bit of the time. And for those of us with kids, they’ll be home more too. How to fill the void? Some personal choices have included crafting with polymer clay – well, learning! There’s painting and origami too and others. But what works for one may not for another. There are lots of new books to be read(or listened to), and all manner of local and on-line experiences to take part in.
Finding ways to keep busy has never been more important. Whether it’s classic board games, woodworking or something else – there’s typically a pursuit for every person. More importantly now than ever, we need to keep busy! And keep in touch.
How big is this shift?
For some like myself – the shift hasn’t been overly major. I tend to keep to myself and have a tight circle that I associate with regularly. So that aspect hasn’t really changed. We’ve had lock down though, and so we reduced our contact even further – resorting to online text and video chat. After a brief period of relaxed rules, we’re dashing toward the snow wrapped in layers of impending lock down. The Atlantic Bubble has collapsed, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see my son learning from home once we’re in to 2021.
It’s the every day stuff that’s changing a lot. All in small ways, if you ask me. Mask mandates. Social distancing in lineups and aisles at the store. Lower capacities in dine-in locations(in spots that allow that, anyway). Remembering to sanitize and wipe down surfaces. Most of this is second nature to a lot of people, and this is why I feel that the overall shift isn’t as big as it feels on the surface.
What I do feel is the real ‘big change’ is that now we’re in a position that it’s being requested of us by our political representatives. Mayors. And of course the scientific and medical communities. Before, getting your flu shot was more or less a recommendation and overall it felt like a common sense decision. Not far back, we were racing for a vaccine to use when battling the swine flu and the avian flu on two separate occasions. The line-up for the swine flu in particular was quite long, and of those two it was the less fatal.
Will March 2020 last forever?
Literally, no. Figuratively, that’s up to you. You see, normal has always been whatever you make it. I’ve been lucky to have some contact and relatively unchanged lifestyle during the pandemic thus far. That’s not to say we haven’t bought a ridiculous amount of masks, or that we won’t experience any other changes. But, things could have gotten way worse. I’m doing what I feel I can to help keep it from going that way any further, and with a little cooperation, a vaccine and some luck – then we can make whatever comes next be just a bit better for everyone involved.