MARINE LIFE. Scientists tell us that marine life is enjoying the quiet brought on by the pandemic. The humans’ shipping industry has slowed to a crawl, making the oceans a more quiet place so that the marine mammals can relax. A Right Whale was spotted only thirteen miles off the coast of Cape Cod! Can’t we come up with a way to make a quieter ocean the new normal? Electric cargo ships? More sailing ships?
VIRTUAL MEETINGS. Like many others, this pandemic has prompted me to learn how to use Zoom and other virtual meeting applications. It’s even the first time I’ve used FaceTime. Would we have bothered otherwise? I know I have begged off invitations saying, I didn’t do that. Now, I have even taught others how to get on board! Watching concerts where musicians play together, while located in different countries, has been inspiring. Watching symphony orchestras play together, while each musician plays from their own home, is mind-bending.
SOCIAL DISTANCING. Will we shake hands again or adopt the Japanese greeting of a slight bow toward each other? Instead of dining in restaurants, maybe we will be more apt to get take out food and take turns going to each other’s homes for dining. I much prefer waiting in lines with clearly marked spacing for those in line. The plexiglass in front of cashiers must be a boon for their health, coronavirus or not. Maybe they will keep those standing. Maybe people will expect more personal space while waiting in lines.
MASKS. Will we come up with a transparent mask? (I have difficulty discerning some neighbors in masks!) How will masks work in restaurants? It is odd that the banks that used to advise that one needed to remove winter headgear are now telling us we need to wear masks. How will they ever return to insisting we remove our winter layers in order to make a transaction?
UNEMPLOYMENT. Is it too much to hope that this wave of unemployment may create more empathy for the poor? More donations? Less callous disregard? (I am fervently hoping for a quick rebound in the economy.) Hospitals are laying off health care workers even now, yet another reason for making the health care industry less profit-motivated.
KENTUCKY DERBY POSTPONED. What will they do with all that fresh mint on hand for the mint juleps? Will all those hats survive unscathed until the big day? Will the jockeys be kept on the payroll? Will anyone have much left with which to make a bet?
INDY 500 POSTPONED. Another event with huge crowds! What will they look like when they actually happen? If you bought your ticket, will they have to admit you or will some remote viewing location be your fate? Will ticket holders be asked to attend for certain time frames so that the crowd will rotate?
NEW PROTOCOLS. Some businesses want us to wear masks and wash our hands before entering. Perhaps more businesses and restaurants will install sinks at their entrances. Maybe they will have greeters who ensure each new guest receives and uses an antiseptic wipe for their hands upon entering. (Then I read news of cashiers being shot for telling people to keep social distance in lines and of greeters being shot for telling people to don a mask; too many Wild West notions in this modern world.)
ISOLATION. I know we have all been asked to self-isolate. I’m wondering if I’m going to want to engage after all this in-person solace. Will it be like the feeling I get after a long car ride when after hours of waiting to arrive, I almost don’t want to get out of the car? (It’s a sensation akin to not wanting to get out of bed on a cold morning.)
So much is uncertain. What will the “new normal” look like? Will I like it? Will the world work this out?
If this is a modern plague, it is safe to say we are in better shape than the populations of old. It isn’t a good situation, but I hope something good will come from it.
You may enjoy: Keep It Chill! (in the East Vill) by Jeffrey Lewis.
Buy it. Read it. (Or listen to it.) Let me know what you think. –TMLL