The new normal

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This new concept is everywhere now, underpinning new behaviours, new reflexes, new apprehensions and a new way of life. The so called “new normal’ is a normal reaction to an aftermath.

Knowing this fact, why to hate the new reality?

Reality is a complex concept. The etymology is Latin, res, which means “thing” (for example, the word republic comes from res publica, public thing. A dictatorship calling itself a republic is a contradiction of words). Therefore, reality is the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic notion of them.

Zooming in, it is clear that reality is made of different layers: social reality, political reality, public reality, personal reality, environmental reality, individual reality and so on. A repetitive collective action defines the norm or what is normal or abnormal. Wearing a mask has become a new normal as a planetary and an individual repetitive action due to the birth of a new layer: the pandemics.

This powerful new layer threatens all the other ones. Consequentially, new behaviours and ways of thinking and living have already taken place.

Is our life better or worse now? 

So far, we hate it. Humans are creatures of habits and rituals and the latter played a major role in cultural and social cohesion as well as in cultural differentiation throughout history of mankind. It goes for our safety, our sanity and our survival. Even our cells are units of habits. What is a disease other than a disruptive phenomenon in the genetically programmed organism?

The problem is, humans are not their cells. They are their own minds, emotions and desires. Only a human mind can be in denial of an actual threat while an organism can’t be so.

Modern philosophy defined humans as rational beings but we are not or at least not all the time.

We seek pleasure and we fear pain. We function by reward and punishment. If we were only rational, we wouldn’t be depressed facing the new normal.

If ever the pandemics would disappear forever, its consequences on the different layers of the world reality will remain. The new normal will eventually become the normal.


25 thoughts on “The new normal”

  1. Humans must be interactive with each other. It is the only way we can see a reflection, and not forever be blinded. That reflection comes in two forms: our own eyes in the mirror, or someone else’s eyes in which we see to their soul.

    I do resent the distance we have created, in this current realm. Humans only adapt, through fear. We accept, through love. What will drive this on, is continued fear, from the media sensationalizing this disease, so that there is no true “aftermath”, as the word your post used. That is, they will keep reporting on the facts, never giving us optimism. Where one person says, “This will end soon!” as optimism, another person says, “This is how many people have died from COVID19, in this city,” as a fact. What do facts change? Nothing. It is because facts, as something on its own, do not change. Facts don’t change. Though, through optimism, we can at least see in a direction. And, which direction are we facing, if we cannot see someone close to us, in the near future?

    We are, in that state, only seeing the darkness, history repeating itself. No “new normal” occurs without fear, which originates from a past. The last thing we need is a memory we thought was put to rest, coming back from the grave to haunt us. What people need is peace, and that cannot come while dwelling in one’s thoughts, on one’s own.

    One only comes up with questions, on their own. People can find answers out in the world, by speaking with people. I have come across numerous occasions, as a fellow philosopher, like yourself, where I thought I knew something, only for my certainty to be disrupted when I spoke to someone. Their words, their input, allowed me to add onto what I thought about, in a fraction of the time it would take to understand something new, on my own.

    So… I do not think this “new normal” has anything to affect for people’s constant and perpetual need to interact with others, to have answers. It will only drive people’s anger and restlessness up the wall, such as what has been the spark for these ongoing protests.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sure humans will always interact. As Aristotle said it: we are political animals. Sociability and interaction are encrypted in our DNA.
      But the pandemic shifted slightly the way we used to interact. There are hygienic instructions one must respect in order not to be affected.

      Therefore it is not about not interacting. It is a slightly different way of doing it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We are only not interacting out of fear for ourselves, not out of “respect for others”. If you haven’t noticed, but we have a whole godforsaken society out there that says for people to “love themselves”. It is pathetic and trivial.

        How does a person love, if not to be brave? A person will stay at a distance, not to be brave, though to be fearful. This is factual. There is no argument.

        The pandemic has not shifted slightly the way we interact we each other. We are forced, by our fears, by that emotion of fear that relates itself directly to death, that we can stay apart from one another.

        I am only hoping that we won’t be having these pathetic habits for the next 50 years, even after the virus is met with a vaccine. As someone who writes romance, I will probably end my own life, were I to see this going for the next 10 years. How can I live, writing romance, if I cannot actually hold someone’s hand, listening to their sorrows while noticing their quivering lips? My life will come to standstill at that time. I might as well not even go on.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Physical distancing is about protecting yourself and your loved ones and other people from any contamination. It is an act of responsibility. How many people died out disrespecting this rule? Many.
        As for romance, sure you can have intimacy if both of you are out of risk. If I were tested positive I wouldn’t let my boyfriend come close to me, believe me.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. What I see, in what you just wrote, is the description of a society closing itself around many tiny individual bubbles. Bubbles. Of groups. This ongoing incessant talk about “racism” is mere example to that fact. We are divided among those bubbles.

        I am not encouraging the spread of the virus. I am only worried about what this may cause for the long-term. As in, are people going to live in constant fear of others, for many long decades? Are people not even going to engage, in person, and saturate their lives on social media? Is that the “new normal”? It better not be.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. It is not about racial groups. Hence, the existence of racism way before the pandemic. I think we are going through a different decade. Forget about the virus; global economic crisis is more threatening!

        Liked by 3 people

      5. Yes. We speak of having our own “little bubble”. Or… our own “little world”, or “little utopia”. Though, how does that not compare to a “comfort zone” or “safe space” where people are more willing to dwell in their stagnancy, rather than freely interact with others?

        Social media has enclosed people within each following, each “group” on Instagram or some such, each page on Facebook, and no one is really saying anything besides another opinion among the sea of others.

        Who is really doing the talking? Who really has the voice? Who really controls what we feel, what we notice, what we experience? These questions roll through my brain on the daily, as they do now.

        To cut the world’s population into individual groups, makes us forget what love is about. Courage. Heroism. Selflessness. Of course, when you love, you take a risk. Just as the same word “risk” is being used in today’s world, like you did, in that last comment. The term “safety” has not originated with COVID19. What I’m worried about is when this begins to affect people on the psychological level. I’m worried that people will begin to take this “safety” nonsense to the next level, so that no one EVER interacts with each other, in-person.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I enjoyed your post but don’t think humans are rational – collectively at least. In one of your replies above you are concerned about the economic fall out from the pandemic, this illustrates the problem with us humans. Meanwhile the very planet we all rely on for our fragile lives is still being plundered, polluted and overpopulated by …. US! I see the pandemic as a natural way for the planet to control a virus … US. But few are listening, distracted by jobs and money. It is the masters of money that pull our collective puppet strings, fueled by greed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we are all trying to cope up with a new era. I am sure things will not be exactly the same like they used to. Things have taken a new shift. Thank you for reading and commenting!


  3. Good points. The new normal is how we adapt. Hopefully, we will be able to move forward in a better way and not return to the normal that encouraged the pandemic in the first place. I am hopeful. It seems that many are learning things during this quarantine period and are reaching realizations for the better.

    Liked by 1 person

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