Patiently Awaiting Normal

I didn’t go to church today and may not for a few weeks.

I don’t plan on going to yoga practice for the next month or two.

I will not get on an airplane or spend an afternoon at the mall.

I may begin working from home this week, if deemed necessary, and only visit the grocery store for absolute necessities.

Social distancing is now a “thing” in the U.S. in order to keep the COVID-19 virus from spreading exponentially and I agree with this thing. It’s important that we not only keep ourselves safe from illness, but that we don’t carry anything home to family, or unwittingly spread the virus to an elderly or health-compromised person.

It means that as humans, we have to put aside our desires to socialize with people and always be busy. We have to consider safety over our normal routines. We have to be okay with finding alternative hobbies and activities, like going for a walk, a bike ride, or practicing yoga in the living room while we’re healthy. Perhaps it’s a good time to read a few good books, catch up on Netflix episodes of your favorite show, spend time with family playing board games, or actually talking with friends and family over the phone.

Schools, churches and other organizations are closing, while grocery stores are cutting back hours to deal with sanitary conditions and restock empty shelves from the hoarding sensible, planning masses. Employers are allowing employees to telecommute or simply stay home. The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill to guarantee all employees 14 days of sick leave through their employer, paid family and medical leave, funds to feed children who would normally have free or reduced price meals at school, and more. The President finally declared a state of emergency on Friday, hopefully not too late.

For the U.S. and the world, we will be living very different lives for what could be weeks or many more months, until it’s safe to come out and play again. During that time, we need to remain a community that cares for one another, to find gratitude in a tough situation and in the ability to slow down and find peace in hanging with self.

I urge you to take social distancing seriously, but don’t panic or stress.

Simply use common sense, follow the CDC’s or World Health Organization’s suggestions for staying safe. Don’t rely solely on Facebook or the talking heads for your critical information.

A year from now, this will be an unforgettable time in history that we conquered with a vaccine and continued healthful practices. We’ll be back to our favorite restaurants and social gatherings. Children will be in school with their friends and faith communities will be meeting at their regular times. No one will have to run around to three different stores looking for toilet paper and hand sanitizer. The world will be somewhat sane again.

Have patience my friends. We are all strong and resilient and will get through this crisis, which reminds me of a quote I recently came across: “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” (Runosuke Satoro)

Consider social distancing as the ocean separating into drops for a few months. The drops are not weak, lonely, lost or bored. Rather, we, as those drops, make up an ocean of humanity that will soon be back together – being life and giving life and hugging the other drops we love.

I honestly cannot wait for normalcy, but in the meantime, I’ll keep taking my vitamins, unroll my yoga mat at home and find church in my prayers.

How about you?

30 responses to Patiently Awaiting Normal

  1. Being an introvert, one who is retired, lives in a remote northern community, doesn’t have kids or family nearby, doesn’t attend church or school or clubs, and who cannot remember the last time I was at a shopping mall – seriously, I don’t do malls – the “new normal” for most is old hat for me.

    But still, yesterday, as I waved ta-ta to someone I was introduced to, and *shook hands without thinking about it* I said, “See ya, and wash your hands!” Talk about an awkward salutation. Did he think I meant he had cooties? Was I saying, *I* had cooties?

    Obviously, it’s a serious situation that is on everyone’s mind and we are all adjusting to this new normal.

    Be well MJ…

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I realized last week just how often I touch hands to my face and hug friends …two habits that I have to seriously think about and curtail.
      Not to worry about cooties…they wash off! 😏

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Trying is all we can do, Dan. I hope you, the Editor and Faith all stay healthy in the coming weeks.

  2. JT Twissel says:

    Well put. I think the message is not getting out that all viruses can mutate. Containing it as soon as possible lowers that risk.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Agreed. If everyone can hear that message and be concerned with social distancing, we’ll get the virus under control sooner than if we ignore it.

  3. I was an only child, an introvert, and I can weather being at home. What weighs heavy on my mind is how everyone is acting – dog eat dog comes to mind. And, I’m not sure that can be fixed with a vaccine.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I was just reading about two guys in Tennessee who bought thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer and tried to resell at exhorbitant prices. Thankfully, they were arrested for their transgressions. I will never understand how people can take advantage of others in times of need and suffering.

  4. Judy Brekke says:

    Being I am at high risk due to several medical conditions I have been home bound for sometime. My grandchildren come to me and just this week we no longer hug or kiss; things I miss terribly, Being in school surrounded by many children and adults, we agreed to this temporarily I asked my primary doctor what I could do to further protect myself. Her answer astounded me. She gave me no suggestion and told me the virus would disappear in due time. I do not know if I can remain a patient of hers. I do not like feeling that she does not have interest in protecting my health. Be safe…

    Miss you Mary! xo

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’m sorry to hear that your doctor wasn’t more helpful, Judy. This is the time that doctors can show compassion and offer suggestions, rather than blow their patients off.

      What you are doing with the girls is a good thing, even though you miss their physical touch. I would guess they don’t want to be responsible for making you ill. Haven’t they closed schools yet? Or is the school system or governor still deciding?

  5. Joanne Sisco says:

    My day-to-day life has changed little in the past few weeks as this global situation has deteriorated. I’ve always had a large personal space and this is one time I’m comfortable with keeping it that way.
    What does concern me though is that I don’t think life will return to ‘normal’. I believe this is one of those watershed moments that changes things forever. It may be subtle at first, but changed just the same – travel, social events, sanitation, etc.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      It would be a good thing to increase levels of sanitation and personal hygiene after the pandemic is over, Joanne. I see too many people that do not pay attention to the simple art of hand washing. I guess we shall see if anything else changes as we move forward or if we go back to same old-same old.

  6. Ally Bean says:

    This isn’t changing my lifestyle much, being an introvert and all. But for some people who are social animals this may do them in, not the virus itself, but the need to slow down and be by themselves. What I’m curious about is when this is all over, will the normalcy we know now return? Or will people continue to be less busy, having discovered that it’s not a bad thing?

    • bikerchick57 says:

      It will be interesting to see how this affects us in the long run. I found I’m actually enjoying the thought of not always running somewhere after work or on the weekends. Time to breathe, take solitary walks and relax while we can.

  7. Judy Brekke says:

    Mary, Gov.Walz has closed all schools as of Wednesday(3/18/20). Willow is on spring break this week and Autumn will begin online work.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I think most schools will be trying to hold online classrooms if they’re not on spring break. I hope this doesn’t extend school into summer break, for their sake.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Same to you Xenia. I think those solitary walks on the beach with frolicking dogs is a healthy way to stay active in the midst of everything.

  8. marianallen says:

    Hardly unprecedented. My grandfather was old enough to remember the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic. I’m old enough to remember when polio kept us socially distanced. We’ve been through this many times before. If we take it seriously and follow best practices, we can come through it again. Keep posting. You help.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Marian. It’s been crazy at work with pandemic planning and trying to keep everyone safe. I’m hope the majority of Americans are taking this seriously.

  9. ‘Consider social distancing as the ocean separating into drops for a few months. The drops are not weak, lonely, lost or bored. Rather, we, as those drops, make up an ocean of humanity that will soon be back together – being life and giving life and hugging the other drops we love.’

    I love this way of looking a self-isolation. This social distancing isn’t hard for Mr. R. and me, being fully retired now, and already used to up to ten days at a time without visiting the shops. We’ve never mixed socially with the locals in the almost 30 years we’ve been here. Just know a lot of people from our cleaning days and see them when out and about. Our family gatherings are only on the usual milestone days. Mother’s Day will be different this year. My mum-in-law is 90 and we couldn’t risk it. Hard to imagine it didn’t seem such a problem as little as three weeks ago when we visited for her birthday. Gosh, already feels like ages ago.

    I’m normally a glass half-full person, but have been teetering on that slippery slope to the half-empty end. Thanks for the positive droplet imagery.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      You are welcome, Christine! I’m glad you had a fairly recent opportunity to visit your mom and already have experience with self-isolating. Keep your glass half full, we are all in this together and I see positives coming from the ability to be still and just be. The normally busy humans may find they like the quiet.

  10. joey says:

    Some ______ gave you fewer than five stars here! More yoga for them!
    I nod along with you. I find you smart and stuff.
    I’m doing just fine with LESS activity and socialization, but I feel for my kids, who are really struggling with cabin fever and it’s only been 8-9-10 days? Oof.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I don’t worry about the fewer than five stars people. It’s my blogging buddies, like Ms. Joey, that concern me. Thank you for calling me smart. After this last week, I think I lost a few brain cells, but at least I still remember who you are. LOL!
      Yeah, the kids are probably going to be the most impatient with this – missing their friends, feeling bored, not knowing what to do with themselves. When they are older and are having crazy days at work, they will look back and wish they had that time back. Not the virus, just the time.

      • joey says:

        I think you’re absolutely right! It’s a bit like they’re grounded, and did nothing to deserve it.

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