My long-suffering spouse was reminiscing recently over her birthday last March, how unique it felt to be getting literally all of her well-wishes over video feeds back in those long lost days months back when such stuff was a whole new daily experience for most of us. Well, dial it back up to the present and it looks like pretty much everybody will have at least one “special and unique” pandemic birthday before this is all over.
Those of us who have any perspective on history at all may have thought of World War I as a pivotal turning point in history where old world views suddenly died in the face of new realities. I wonder if the Spanish flu pandemic might’ve been viewed in a similar light were it not somewhat overshadowed, as any number of historical artifacts have been over the centuries, by war.
Yes, this pandemic will eventually pass into history along with any number of “unprecedented” occurrences in this admittedly strange year of 2020. I suspect, however, that by the time it does so, most of us will have long gotten over the idea of everything getting “back to normal”.
Perhaps this year more than most, perhaps the most starkly at least since 9/11, we will realize just how quickly “normal” can morph into “new normal” while one is hunkered down and alone.