The New Normal

‘New Normal’ was a term I got introduced when my younger son was diagnosed with Leukaemia some years back… Life was never going to be the same for us… Now everyone is talking about the new normal… The Covid-19 has changed the way the world is going to look in the future. 

A few years back, it was a challenge to get people together. Everyone was caught in their own bubbles. Corporates and organizations were coming up with strategies to get people together and have a good time to another. Businesses grew around embracing people together. Now all of us with our clicks and communities are asked to follow social distancing…Suddenly the loneliness and annoyance set it. From a typical day of a Zumba class with my apartment friends, catching up with a friend for lunch to having dinner with a vendor we now have to find ways to keep ourselves occupied within our houses. Something new for us…

Life was centred around working and planning holidays. Discovering the world was usually just a few clicks away… Boom we were on a flight and had booked ourselves into an exotic hotel. We are roaming the streets discovering the country and tasting the local food. Now vacations need to be planned at home… where for most of us we have already spent most of our time… 

There also does not seem to be an end in sight. In Hong Kong, we thought the worst was behind us, but there are speculations about the second wave with those who came to Hong Kong from other affected countries in the recent past. In Hong Kong, the kids have been off school from the end of January…and there is talk it may be extended…

Thankful to technology, which allows virtual meetings and work from home. Work is still going on… The effect of Covid-19 in the economic world is still unknown… No one is talking about going back to normal after the Virus. People are talking about applying the positives learnt to be incorporated into the new normal. As someone who loves problem-solving, the possibilities seem endless…

Some lessons I leant about the new normal, which are helping me cope these days…

  • We live one day at a time… It is good to have goals and work towards it… It’s also good to have a thought about the unknown in the plans. 
  • When the unknown happens … Don’t panic and take stock of the situation and look for opportunities. Never decide thinking about the immediate future… look long term… Remember, the decision affects not only me but my spouse and family around me. 
  • Mistakes are bound to happen… Accept and move on finding a way forward, going through the consequences if any…
  • Look to find positives in the adverse situation in life. I am reminded of a season after my son passed away when surviving a day was positive. It was a season every morning I would get up and wonder how I would go through the day… Evening my thought was how I would go through the night. I survived, and today I can plan my day accordingly…With a better frame of mind, this time around, I am trying to use my time productively.
  • Please don’t be harsh on ourself and others. When we are forced to accept change, we all react/respond differently. Let us not strive to prove we are right or find fault with the way others respond. Instead lets us try understanding each other and finding workable solutions to give each other the needed space. 
  • Panic planning/ buying does not help in today’s world… Stocking up needs is essential. Stock up maybe once a week; this also reduces the time you are exposed to potentially getting infected. From experience, the shelves are empty for the 2 or 3 days of panic buying… Essentials may be a bit longer, even up to 2 weeks… after that, there is plenty of fresh stock as those who stocked up are using their supplies at home. This was my observation during the times of panic buying I have witnessed at times… Generally, supermarkets are not quick to restock the shelves but go about restocking their ration every day…
  • Live through the uncertainty but never lose your hope… the setback we face now may seem significant. Still, we will get past it, and there is life on the other side which brings joy and hope…this is just a temporary phase…
  • Finally, the stress of staying at home can affect relationships within a family… We can create the best memories in life, or they may be the ones we want to forget. Be intentional in dealing with family at home. This is the best time to show our love to them. Quoting my favourite passage on love. 

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

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