Creating a New Normal
By Stephanie Kim, Editor-in-Chief
Covid-19 and all the mandates that have come with it, have taught us how to adapt more quickly and drastically. It has also taught us that a lot of what we do day-to-day can be done online: class, work, grocery shopping, socializing, and even appointments. We don’t have to be face-to-face in order to do what we need daily. With the internet (and wifi), almost anything can be completed from home.
Yes, we need to be face-to-face at some point–more for socializing or fun and going to certain kinds of appointments. But why are we pushing so hard to go back to “normal” if much of what we do can be done online? In most cases, online is more efficient or effective for what’s needing to be done and can save time or money. Staying online can help decrease our use of gasoline, as well as decrease the current spread of Covid-19. Many people may also be able to improve their mental health by being able to work or do school from home. In the long run, staying online for a little while longer–or permanently–may actually benefit us more.
There isn’t a lot to think about when you break it down. Decreasing the places people have to physically be at would reduce the amount of driving (assuming they need to use their car to get there) needing to be done, decreasing some of the gasoline that people use daily. Fewer people going out would also help reduce the spread of Covid-19, as it did at the beginning of the pandemic. Many people might also gain relief from staying at home and doing work/school online longer by seeing improvements in their mental health. Working at home is also more flexible and allows for more control in your schedule–much of the anxiety people face links to the little control they feel they have over their day-to-day lives.
Dan Charles, from NPR, talked about a study done in Science magazine that found a link to feeling a lack of control and seeing illusions. The people who felt a lack of control saw images in static, like on a television screen, and were more superstitious and worried––which shows just how powerful feeling powerful can be to our minds.
“I want to get my life back to normal Stephanie,” you might think. Well, what is normal?
One definition: “the usual, average, or typical state or condition”. Another definition of normal is: “conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected”. We don’t have to go “back” to anything. This can be our normal: working and doing class online, from home, leaving more free time for us to socialize and do what we need for ourselves. We adapted when Covid-19 first hit, so we can continue to adapt into a better state of normal–by taking back more control over our lives.
It wouldn’t be easy, but we could do it. First, we have to push past the fear that surrounds using technology and learn to adjust to the changes that it brings. By learning more about the changes to come, they won’t seem as scary. A lot of us hold on to the belief that change brings trouble, but that just isn’t true. Embracing change may lead to better and easier day-to-day lives for us all–we just have to open our arms to it.
Check out “Study: ‘Lack of Control’ Plays With Our Minds” from NPR: