We do not need a new normal. Perhaps that’s too provocative a statement for some given the unprecedented events of the past few months. It seems lifetimes have passed since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns, safety measures, and ordinances. Still, I hold to my initial statement.
Unfortunately, the general tenor from the media alongside various pundits and powers-that-be throughout much of the country is that things will never be normal again. At the very least, normalcy will not return for many more months if not years according to many. Sadly, given the seismic paradigm shift the pandemic has elicited in the form of paranoia, hysterics, and grossly uncritical methodologies and evaluations, they might be right.
The very act of shaking hands may be rendered obsolete or at least ought to be according to Dr. Anthony Fauci himself as reported by Time:
I don’t think we should ever shake hands ever again, to be honest with you. Not only would it be good to prevent coronavirus disease; it probably would decrease instances of influenza dramatically in this country.
For all his credentials and scientific pedigree, the fact that no one in the mainstream media found such a suggestion patently strange is both comical and disheartening. It demonstrates both a continued fallacious appeal to authority and a fundamental inability for us as a nation to now navigate crises without resorting to dogmatic forebodings.
Heck, the pandemic has even rallied the anti-vaxxers and their brand of idiocy in the form of some bizarre documentary. Lead by some supreme quack, ‘The Plandemic’ continues to pop up on everyone’s social media feeds. To be sure, the doc has about as much scientific rigor and critical evaluation as a cold bowl of oatmeal, and even that feels unfair to oatmeal.
Major professional sports leagues are brainstorming all sorts of odd ideas to get players back on the courts and fields as well. While the NFL has released a tentative schedule for the upcoming season with some hope of returning to normalcy by the fall, the NBA remains desperate to restart their season.
So far, the ideas being bandied about are hackneyed or just plain silly. The plan to create some kind of pandemic safety bubble keeps making the rounds according to ESPN, though it’s rife with major inconsistencies and conundrums:
If a quarantined zone guaranteed players and coaches wouldn’t get COVID-19, they told her it would be worth the sacrifice of separating from family and friends for several months… What if a team staffer went to get a slice of pizza and became infected? What if an asymptomatic family member or significant other came to visit and spread the virus? If the honor code was too lax, but a police state was too draconian, what was the point of a bubble?
At least the UFC is back even with some major hiccups. A fighter and two of his cornermen tested positive for COVID-19 literally a day before the UFC’s first scheduled event since lockdown measures were put in place. All three were asymptomatic though.
Many of these new-fangled attempts at some kind of “new normal” completely miss the overarching point. We have effectively exceeded initial expectations and outcomes regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions did not die. We flattened the curve. Yes, it is a very real crisis, but we have endured the brunt of it with flying colors much to the chagrin of naysayers and doomsday prophecies.
What’s most worrisome is that we’re still berated by the same tired narrative in some odd combination of Stockholm syndrome and Groundhog’s Day. We need to methodically return to normal with optimism, composure, and some degree of vigilance. That’s it. Otherwise, these insufferable and exhausting notions of a “new normal” are just echoes from the same anxious, hysterical refrains that currently overwhelm the conversation and drown out reason and common sense.
The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.