As we continue to live in a once-unbelievable world, we have more thoughts to consider surrounding one large question: what does this virus mean? What does it mean for our world as we once knew it? What does it mean for us or for generations to come? These questions keep coming, relating to our environment, our role as consumers and our expectations around socializing with others.
For me, this has meant living with my family again, so that I don’t have to be isolated in my tiny apartment alone. It has meant having little-to-no schedule in terms of the work that I need to do. It has also meant a decrease in my spending, an increase in my cooking skills, and an exploration of how to connect with those whom I love but cannot give a hug to right now.
Our ‘normal’ doesn’t exist anymore. We now have a unique opportunity in which we can create a new ‘normal’. In doing this, it might be helpful to take account of what has changed. Has my lifestyle relaxed and slowed down, or do I have additional responsibilities requiring more of my attention? Personally, nothing has stayed the same. All aspects in my life have been altered in some way or another, directly or indirectly. How many of these changes will I attempt to incorporate into my life, when social distancing is no longer a requirement and the chaos has settled?
With our ‘normal’ gone and our lives touched in such an unexpected way, we are vulnerable. And so, this is a time in which we can create a new vision for ourselves. Those who have the means to do so may spend an abundance on advertisements for us to buy their product or eat their food. Local stores, markets, and restaurants may not have that ability, pushing them aside. We could continue the way we are most currently living life- moving everything we possibly can online, including schools. But what would that mean for children’s learning and development and the parents who have suddenly become teachers?
I believe that this time is filled with opportunities- opportunities for growth and change. It is important for us to consider what this virus has brought to us in terms of questioning the reality that we were living in, for the most part, without hesitation. Our new ‘normal’ has room for curiosity, if we sit and let ourselves go there.
Christalie Kuglin, Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate student at Southern New Hampshire University