The New Normal – by Brought Me Here

Primrose Hill Short Story Entry

They keep calling it “the new normal”, but what does that mean?
We’ve seen acts of incredible selflessness, but at the same time we’ve seen others being selfish.

I’ve heard neighbours arguing with each other from window to window. Disagreements below about which gardener is doing what. Quite funny to overhear, definite first world problems.

When things do go back to some semblance of “normal”, we’ll look back and we won’t take our freedom for granted like we once did. I hope.
People can be quick to forget, and if we’re not careful, things could go back to how they were.

It feels weird to see people going out and celebrating like nothing has happened. Like almost 50,000 people haven’t died. Then combine this with what is happening with the Black Lives Matter movement right now.
It’s been hard to see all the injustice in the world amplified on social media. More people are online now, and there are more status updates than ever before. The Zoom chats and Instagram Live streams start to take their toll after a while.

Don’t get me wrong, some people have been stuck inside for a long time. It’s natural to want to go out and have a drink or enjoy a nice meal. But still, something about it doesn’t feel quite right even as our social media feeds return to normal. We’re still meant to be social distancing, aren’t
we?

In China we saw the positive effect the virus had in reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But we’re already seeing those emissions return to pre-COVID levels. It shows that we could stop the pollution if we wanted to.

For some, this is the first genuine crisis/pandemic that they’ve lived through. They’re struggling to adjust. Never before have there been restrictions on what we can do and where we can go.

For families, it’s given them time together that they would never get and that’s a beautiful thing. But some have lost their loved ones because of coronavirus. Lockdown means they haven’t been able to grieve, or even go to a funeral.

We’ve clapped for key workers. But our national health service was already under a lot of strain before lockdown. The government is keen to kickstart the economy. This is via reopening restaurants, pubs and
shops. It seems too early. Many in the government will have vested interests in these businesses.

They’ll be keen to have them making money again even if it costs lives.
And we all know that the government was too slow when it came to putting the country into lockdown.

I don’t want to go back to the pub until it’s like it was before lockdown. A pub with plexiglass screens and social distancing doesn’t interest or appeal to me. And yes, I’m aware of how miserable that makes me sound.

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