Don’t let the “new normal” become your normal

Much like most of my fellow free thinkers of relative intelligence, I’m tired of the endless campaign of clichés associated with this pandemic.

“We’re all in this together,” first “social distancing,” now “physical distancing,” and of course “flattening the curve” have all been used way, way too much.

And I’m not the first to write about this. A well-crafted piece by Terence Corcoran can be read here.

No judgement to those who have been slanging the slang: I’m as guilty as anyone of falling into the trap occasionally – I have signed off on an awful lot of emails with a “Stay Safe” slogan.

But the one pandemic axiom I vehemently refuse to use is “new normal.” Funny enough, as I’m typing this, the CBC just used the term “new normal” five times.

The fact is this will only become the new normal if we let it. It’s not my normal, it’s abnormal and I want it to stay that way. I refuse to let a short period of time – even if it feels like an eternity some days – define the rest of my existence on this fantastic planet.

Once we have a vaccine or “herd immunity” (sorry, had to throw another one in there), I want to go back to hugging my friends – men and women – and giving kisses on cheeks of loved ones from all walks of life.

I want to dance and drink and share tokes without fear. I want to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with my fellow TFC fans while we sing and chant, cheer, and jeer. I want to sit in packed bar watching the Raptors, or the Champions League or Euro 2020 … er, Euro 2021 and share high fives and hugs with everyone when Italia wins.

I want to go back to coaching and playing soccer, not being afraid to be too close to someone else on the pitch.

I want to go back to concerts and street festivals to revel in the fantastic energy felt only when large groups of revellers gather.

I want to shake hands to greet a new friend or colleague. I want to be able to live life by embracing those around me not pushing them away, not keeping them at arm’s length, not being distant.

I want all these things because that is how humanity should be – people coming together to celebrate life and open their hearts to each other.

I’m tired of being away from my family, my friends and my colleagues: video chats and phone calls can’t match the camraderie you feel when together. Laughter and joy is best experienced face-to-face.

Anything less is downright uncivilized (had to do it).

I want all this because this is my normal, this is our normal as human beings. So, let us stop talking about the new normal as if it is not an abnormality.

There is only a “new normal” if we let it happen. Let us resolve to do our best and get back to our real normal – the one we all loved so much and miss everyday.

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