We Should Reject a “New Normal” But We Can Still Choose to Leave Some Things Behind
Summer is rapidly approaching, and with it comes at least a semi-return to normal for a lot of families. Some states are opening up, and some are still locked up tight, but the end of the school year—even this school year—still stands as a transition to something that at least resembles life the way we remember it pre-COVID-19.
I’ve talked about it several times now, and I see others talking about it as well, but I want to reiterate that I will not be using the term “new normal” to describe post-COVID-19 life. As far as I can see, there is no reason that we can’t assume a perfectly normal “normal” again.
I’m encouraged to see studies that give credence to the idea of this virus not being as contagious as we had once feared, and also being far less deadly for the majority of healthy people than we had once assumed. States that have reopened are showing no COVID-related crises in the weeks following their reopening—and that is very good and encouraging news. I hope everyone—regardless of political affiliation—will celebrate these results.
I’m enjoying seeing friends and family make vacation plans, and I’m happy to see social media posts of friends and acquaintances reuniting for dinners out, and camping trips, and other “normal life” activities. It’s amazing how much you take for granted until your every action is suddenly deemed “essential” or “non-essential” by overreaching government mandates. I’ve seen posts that say, “Hello, I’d like to cancel my 60 day trial of communism, please”… and I totally get it.
So although I don’t believe in adopting some centrally planned “new normal” (shudder), I do think that this transition to summer and out of varying degrees of lockdown is a pretty good time to pause and reflect on what parts of these last couple of months we’ve actually really enjoyed and have maybe come to see as an improvement on the way that life was before “social distancing” and “stay safe” became phrases we couldn’t go five minutes without hearing.
This week we’ve asked our followers on Instagram to create posts of their families enjoying our books, curriculum, or card game and tag us in them so we can see all the great ways their families are using our content. We’re actually having a contest, and one randomly selected lucky winner will be drawn in as a character in our next Tuttle Twins book. 😉
That contest got me thinking that it would be fun to hear from everyone about the things you are choosing to adopt into your life that you weren’t doing before the lockdowns and closures of schools, but that you don’t want to give up once things go back to normal.
Have you been having dinners together as a family where before you were too busy with sports and work and other commitments to ever seem to make it work?
Are you doing family read-alouds or playing board games in the middle of the afternoon?
Does your family spend more time outside together than you did before?
Are you checking in with your parents or siblings more than you did before?
Are there things that you once gave a lot of time and importance to that you’ve realized you maybe don’t really need, or care about, all that much anymore?
What about homeschool? Is your family considering homeschooling instead of returning to public or private school?
I’d love to see you post about it (or email me if you don’t use social media) and tag The Tuttle Twins. Maybe we can get the hashtag #justplainnormal trending and fill feeds with positive and uplifting things that we want to bring into our lives, even as we distance from accepting that the “old” normal was somehow broken and needed replaced with a government-mandated “new.”
I know that in spite of all the awful things that have happened over the last couple of months, a lot of families have grown closer together and have enjoyed the breathing room that fewer commitments and outside pulls have had on their lives.
There’s a lot to be said for quieting the noise of the world and realigning ourselves and our families with the things that really matter. It doesn’t take a pandemic and a government shutdown of life as we know it to realize it—and I hope we never have to endure anything like this again. But I’m always one for looking for the good in any situation, and I think the good through all of this is the #justplainnormal that we choose to go forward with.