2020 and the New Normal

It’s hard to write when things are going well. It’s when things fall apart that the urge to scribble out my thoughts becomes a necessity, a way to deal with the stress and organize my thoughts. Still, I think it’s helpful to write about the mundane from time to time.

The biggest issue that I’ve had to deal with, which is what everyone else has had to deal with, is this global pandemic. Personally, I’ve gone from a level of high anxiety, bordering on panic, to acceptance that this is the new normal, at least for the foreseeable future. That change came quicker than I could have imagined.

At the moment, bars are closed, restaurants only allow up to 50% occupancy. Most places are open for business, and I’ve been lucky enough to work for a retailer that has been deemed essential, and business is booming.

For a couple of months, we were over run with customers with no place else to go. Stuck at home, they started doing home projects. That’s good, but so many all at once caused a lot of stress on myself and my coworkers. It has since settled down, but sales are up.

For two of my brothers, however, things are not as rosy. With oil prices as low as they are, they were laid off about six weeks ago. This is true for a lot of people. It’s hard to revel in my fortune when I know people I care for are not doing as well. They’re living with our parents, doing what they can to keep busy, doing home improvement projects.

I did the same when I was unemployed a little more than seven years ago.

Then thing that strikes out at me the most is the deal with wearing masks. I do my best to remember to wear mine, though I question how effective masks are. I believe they probably do help prevent the spread of covid-19, but I doubt it’s 100% effective. Still, even if it slows the progress of this horrible disease, I think it’s worth it.

I just think it’s amusing to see so many people wearing masks when I go out. It’s become normal. There are still people who refuse to wear masks, those claiming it’s been blown out of proportion. There are those who are crying that it’s a political attack on the president. Then I’ll see on the news that someone who claimed it’s just another flu-like illness urging everyone to take this seriously as they are ravaged by the disease. Sometimes I’ll read that they passed away.

I’m not a doctor, nor am I otherwise a healthcare professional. I’m not going to opine about this pandemic and blast those professionals if I don’t like what they say. I’m not going to do ten minutes of research on Google to try and discredit them with bogus research from dubious sources. I’m going to do my part to keep myself safe, as well as keep everyone else safe.

I’ll wear my mask when I need to go out, otherwise I’ll stay at home. It’s not entirely about me. I don’t believe in conspiracies, nor do I believe the Rapture is imminent. I don’t believe that this is a ploy to vaccinate us, nor do I believe that the government will use this to implant chips into us.

What I do believe is that many more people will get sick, and some will die. I believe that it will pass, but how much we suffer will depend on how serious we take this situation. I believe we will need to find a balance that will protect us while keeping the economy from crashing.

I just hope that I will survive this, and I pray that my friends and family will, too. 2020 has been a nightmare so far. I don’t want it to get worse.

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