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Are We Going Back to "Normal?"

Though the CDC lifted mask restrictions, I never really felt that we were ever going to go "back to normal." After all, what is normal? Normal was what got us into this pandemic mess. Normal was a careless, selfish lifestyle. Knowing what we know now, I don't think if "normal" can ever come back.

Big crowds, and I don't say this lightly, scare the living daylights out of me. I was never a fan of them, but I could always withstand them. Now, I walk to the other side of the room even if its inconvenient for me. I don't know necessarily why I still do it. Partly, its out of habit; but another part of me is still thinking about the germs and breathing that goes into a massive cluster of people.

Traveling too is probably changed forever. Other than the fact that I still wear a mask to the airport, there's a certain distinction between what was and what is now. People give each other side eye glances while walking through the airport; they're more frazzled, more tense. If someone coughs on the flight, the person next to them freezes up.

To me it seems pretty obvious of the changes to my daily life. But then again, I tend to keep track of minor details. To the naked eye, it would seem like society has gone back to normal, at least in Charleston. Restaurants and stores have exploded with parties. Teenagers are out on boats, living it up like nobody's business. It makes sense though. We've been through so much as a society; people want to "forget" the past year of trauma. People want a reward for the punishment that was COVID-19. People are sick of existing in fear. And who can blame them? It's human nature.

Though we seem to have the external "normal" factor going on at first glance, looking closer will tell you more of the story. Trauma leaves stains; the stains are especially visible the moment someone coughs or sneezes. We can act as if we are "back to normal" all we want, but all it is a facade. Because now we know that it takes one measly little virus to flip life upside down completely. In truth, going back to normal would risk society to be just as unprepared as we were previously. So precede with caution, its a dangerous world out there.

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