The first thing I heard when I came out after liberating the lockdown was the word ‘new normal.’ I look up and grasp the word – I just can’t deny the fact that stating it firmly doesn’t match the present standard of our society.
The language of ‘new normal’ becomes the lens through which we examine the acceptance of change ushered by the 2019 coronavirus disease. By using this language, it seems like there will be no cure inside and outside. Everyone from my family and friends to politicians and media has settled in this rhetoric – as they imagine that this will be the life we’re going to live for 2 or 5 decades from now.
It might be a paradox of life that if there’s something new, it can be considered normal. This phrase assumes the blanket of status quo to be a bit strange that pushes to normalize things that will pass in time.
As I weigh my personal and political responses on this matter, the language we try to embark on must have reshaped and reinforced today’s crisis but it does not because there is nothing new to it. This pandemic has turned us to be an expert of something or worse fortune tellers.
Perhaps, it’s a little frustrating and damaging using lazy clichés describing the outcast society.
The term ‘new normal’ has sanitized the idea that our presence must have to work like this because it’s okay, and it’s normal anyway. Yes, there may be an increasing public health crisis but these things can be managed. Social distancing and being space-conscious, yes we’re doing it. We accept it as it was mandated and ordinary. But if isolating is normal, then we should have control over it. And if this fluctuating morbidity is the standard of death every day, then we should not grieve and lose our despair about them and get used to it. Hence, calling it a new normal is a denial of the real situation.
For societies en masse, we have a dearth of the struggle of communication, expressing ourselves, and understanding the world and our emotions never meet halfway. So, what exactly does this pandemic convey about ‘new normal’? The term is inviting that pushes us to accept things we shouldn’t have to in the first place.
The framing of this term has boxed our ability to heal ourselves, it constrains us from what our steps would be in the future in order to transform our society because it was already imagined in advance that this world is only for the elite and those who have access to their standardized lifestyle.
Obviously, the idea of working from home becomes a new norm set up for most of the working classes. But aren’t 43% of Americans have done the same thing before this occasion? That’s the most outlandish idea about this new normal thing. It was like saying there will be something abnormal about WFH in the future. And it will be weird to work from home either.
We understand the call for stay-at-home an idea to save someone’s health but in order to observe that worldwide which I think is absurd to over 100 million people who are homeless and don’t have the luxury of the word ‘home.’ And if one existence is funded on a daily income, how could someone be comfortable sitting at his dining table –waiting that somehow the idea will exclude them from staying inside their homes.
News, emails, and daily updates – I was stock on these things and was able to collate it since the lockdown. In March 2020, the lockdown began and 87% of the individuals are using the internet all over the world for developed countries and less access to developing and least-developed ones.
Inequalities of lives have also been ignored for Latinos and Black Americans because of health disparities. In Nigeria, hungervirus is said to be the first mandamus killer than the coronavirus.
In West Africa, cases of Ebola have struck residence pre-coronavirus. Yemen becomes the least adoptive to online learning, a methodology that draws the concept of crisis in education. In the Philippines, consecutive typhoons and other natural disaster echoes for help while the coronavirus is ongoing and rescuing barreled the unequipped, cash aids becomes an adequate solution for the hunger.
These communities do not need sympathy; they need systematic action and stimulate urgency. Things like these have never been normal. We may agree or we may not, this doesn’t mean that we continue to become habituated from it, get used to it, and not do something about it.
This concept has been predicted for years and we all are in this situation long after this –but this time the term becomes materialized. Imagine the financial crisis, recession, abuse of power, gender struggles and uncountable issues prevailing up to this time have happened in the past too. The crisis was not a mere flesh wound to us and it never becomes so easy to heal. The situation is never fine and it will never be fine unless our way of thinking and the system will have a paradigm shift instead of ‘new normal’.