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The New Normal

Kathy Werner
Posted 6/24/22

I’m beginning to think that we are living in a brand-new world. We are constantly having to adjust our ideas of what “normal” is.

Remember when you used to steer clear of people …

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Lifelines

The New Normal

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I’m beginning to think that we are living in a brand-new world. We are constantly having to adjust our ideas of what “normal” is.

Remember when you used to steer clear of people who were animatedly talking to themselves as they walked down the street? Now it is more likely that they are just talking to a friend using wireless earbuds.

Remember that house with the overgrown yard filled with weeds that all the kids said was haunted? Well, nowadays those yards likely have a sign out front proclaiming it a “Pollinator Garden.” Still looks like an overgrown mess that I wouldn’t want next to my property, but now it’s trendy.

Remember when you used to go to the dentist when you were a kid, and the dentist didn’t wear gloves or a mask or goggles or anything? You were lucky if he washed his hands before he put them in your mouth, to be honest. These days dentists and their assistants and hygienists suit up like they were performing heart surgery every time they so much as look in your mouth.

Remember when your family doctor would stop by your house if you got sick when you were a kid? Now you can get sick and call your doctor, but she won’t be able to see you till next January, even if you drive yourself to their office. You can either drag yourself to the nearest ER or walk-in clinic if you need to see a doctor.

And how about those good old days before seatbelts were invented? We kids would be stuffed five across in the back seat of our old Chevy as Mom and Dad drove us around while they sang old songs and smoked cigarettes on our evening drives. Now you can’t even bring your baby home from the hospital unless it can sit upright in a car seat for 45 minutes. And kids today must be in booster seats until they are 8 years old, although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would prefer that they stay in a booster seat or at least in the back seat till the age of 12. I think there were kids in my class who were driving by the time they were 12, but that was long, long ago.

I can remember a time when we didn’t all walk around with minicomputers/phones in our pockets. When we weren’t constantly connected to everyone and everything. When we had to talk to each other and all the answers to everything in the world weren’t discovered by asking a disembodied voice to look it up. Honestly, I think we have access to so much information now that it’s completely overwhelming for our human minds. I liked the days when people sat around a table and engaged with each other. Now their faces tilt downward, illumined by the light of small rectangular screens.

It’s like the days of the cavemen, when all sat in a circle, transfixed, their faces lit by the flickering flames of that new invention…fire.

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