This New Normal

A friend of mine posted this beautiful picture the other day. The one you see on this post. Her caption read: “A friendly reminder from the roses in our garden to do your bit to flatten the curve” …to which I responded, “And perfectly social distanced!”

How quickly we adapted. A mere matter of weeks and now grocery shopping is probably “the most dangerous” thing our house participates in when it comes to exposing ourselves to Covid-19. Happily, I’m not alone in this effort, and it looks like things are starting to pay off looking at slowing of the cases of coronavirus we are seeing.

I’m an avid “Call the Midwife” fan and even though the show is taped well in advance of all this crazy, it’s fitting that they are in the middle of a Diptheria outbreak. It’s also fitting that we just celebrated Easter, and continually need to turn to faith, and die to ourselves, and submit to God. On Episode 2, Sister Monica Joan – who is one of my favorite characters says, “It is not the penance that we choose which is pleasing to God. It is the setting aside of ego, and the submission to His will.” to which Sister Julienne responds, “So I must accept the world as it is, not as I would wish it to be.”

In this particular episode, they were discussing the giving up of things for Lent. It’s not so much what we want to “repay” to God post sin, but setting ourselves up ahead of time and giving to God. Right now, this is such a strong message. As we weather this storm in the economy and our health, we need to prepare “ahead”, not give later. Accept the world as it is, behave accordingly, and not act as if it’s the place we “used to have” and are wishing for.

This week I will continue to accept the new normal for what it is. It’s getting a little harder each week to stay alone, not “get out and see the world”, to breathe within my own four walls. But this sacrifice now will spare me the penance of getting myself or my family ill. When I consider it like that, staying home is one hundred times easier. I am saddened each day seeing people still gathering in groups, even at Easter, when so many facts are presenting themselves that social distancing works, and progress is being made.

Even more disheartening is the amount of people who are using social media to police each other. I think now that we’ve all learned how to navigate the basics – schooling, grocery shopping, etc – we are now starting to take our pent up anger out on the public at large. It’s not just me who’s noticing this. My best friend was told by a neighbor that her four children playing outside was a “legal offense” and that she would call the police and my friend would incur a fine. A biker in my neighborhood was chastised for running a stop sign with more gusto than the Salem Witch Trials. I realize most of us are “getting tired of this” and feeling the stress of the market and cabin fever building, but we must remain strong. It’s like the meme I keep seeing – “our grandparents were called to war, we are called to sit on the couch.” While I agree we should be addressing it, screaming and yelling isn’t the answer, addressing with common sense is.

Just sit down. Pray, center yourself. However you find your calm. Submit your ego over to the cause and just hang out. We’re nearly there.

Photo Credit: S. Balasubramani

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