Those were the words that signified the beginning on the “the new normal.” March 11, 2020 was the day the United States was truly introduced to the novel coronavirus, or as we came to know it, COVID-19. Diseases like this have come and gone around the planet before, but generally the United States has been geographically isolated from the worst of the recent past. With these words spoken by ESPN announcers prior to the NBA Utah Jazz-Oklahoma City Thunder game scheduled for that Wednesday evening, normal American life began to grind to a halt. And the desperate search for toilet paper was just about to get underway…
When enough time passes, and we, as a society, take a look back on this event (“these interesting times,” “these uncertain times,” “these unprecedented times,” “the new normal,” “massive governmental failure,” and any other phrase you would like to add to this list…) I believe the postponing of this basketball game will be the singular event that got the nation’s attention: This situation is serious, we’ve never seen anything like it in almost a hundred years, and we don’t know what’s happening next.
To almost every extent, this uncertainty remains, over two months later. We’ve become familiar with words and concepts that are new to our modern society. Face masks. “Social distancing.” Pandemic. Wild times, indeed.
There is a lot of we still don’t know. There’s a lot to be sad about, a lot to be mad about, and a lot to be frustrated about. I’ve always tried to create posts on this site that inform, entertain or uplift. Honestly, I haven’t posted since the beginning of March because I don’t know what’s appropriate. But we still have lives to lead, and there are still things to say. And, as John Krasinski showed us for eight episodes during “these unceratin times,” there is still Some Good News…
John’s injection of good news (at least temporarily) provided us some bright spots, with uplifting reports in an otherwise-dark world.
Most of us were introduced to “Zoom” — video conferencing software that allows us to keep in touch with each other even though there are much better (more secure) alternatives. We’ve even learned how to learn. Remotely, that is. Schools have been forced online, and the class of 2020, while being robbed of several traditional experiences, will have their own set of memorable, unique experiences, like having a President speak at their shared graduation.
The distancing has caused churches to hold services online, and potentially reaching a whole new, larger audience via YouTube and Facebook. Or even hold parking lot services, where members gathered in their parked cars.
And Nintendo’s timing could not have been better, as Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released just as the country’s video game players were settling into their quarantine.
There are many uncertainties still to come. I want to continue to add to this list as the situation evolves. My advice: Listen to those professionals whose job it is to keep you safe. Don’t listen to those who are vying for your vote by telling you what you want to hear or can increase the size of their pockets by taking advantage of you. At the end of the day, the virus won’t care who or what you believe.
Stay safe out there.