In the immortal words of Joey Tribbiani:
In my last post, I spoke of our new normal – and how it wasn’t even worth putting that word in quotes anymore because, well, this is just how life is now. As we come to accept our current circumstances, we adapt our behavior and life moves on. The sun still rises, the earth still turns, and time still continues its forward march.
The concern, of course, is that we’ll become so acclimated to our social distancing that we won’t go back. Arm-chair psychologists and experts alike have been writing about what life on the other side will look like – and for once those words don’t mean death. Well, they do, but…grrr.
This is the problem when language is slow to catch up to current situations. It’s why we still call them “floppy disks” when they’re encased in hard plastic, it’s why we still call our portable computers “phones” when they do so much more. Usually, “life on the other side” refers to the existence after death. Now we’re using the same words to refer to coming out from the COVID-19 curve – which we have flattened at least a little bit.
As for me, I’ve always been one to take life as it comes. I don’t agonize too much about what’s currently happening – don’t get me wrong, I’m very careful about staying home, staying away from people, about social distancing – but I’m not panicked and I’m not out hoarding supplies, although like every mother, I worry some about my kids and hope that they’re behaving themselves.
So no futuristic predictions from me on what society will look like. Science Fiction is a genre I enjoy reading, but have always been lousy at writing. I love that there are writers who can take a look at the current situation and project it into the future and play the game of “what if?” but it isn’t a talent I have.
Sidenote: Why is it all Science Fiction authors predict a gloomy future for us? I’ve long suspected they’re writing warnings: “Change your behavior or this will happen.” I need to read a rosy futuristic story – where we have a Happily Ever After ending!
Here in the Finger Lakes, the daffodils are up, the sun is shining (today, anyway), the yard work is getting done, the basement is nearly cleaned out, and stories are being written – not all of them fictional. Many of those staying safe at home are journaling their experiences, recording for posterity the details of what it’s like to actually live through a pandemic. We don’t have many of those records from past ones, so we hope our words will give comfort, strength, and understanding to those who go through this in the future.
Because they will. This isn’t the first and it won’t be the last. With any luck, it’ll be the only one in our lifetimes, though. And by recording our precautions, our hopes, our fears, we can tell our descendants that they, too, will adjust to the circumstances and come out on “the other side.”
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Stay safe, and play safe!
DON’T FORGET! All my books are 60% off at Smashwords for the next few weeks. Books are the one thing it’s okay to hoard – at least, that’s what I’m telling myself every time I add another one to both my virtual and physical shelves. J