A few months ago when everything was “normal”, life has always been better for most of us. It was a few months ago when we still get to choose what we want to do, whether we go to our favorite coffee shop, do our groceries in our local supermarket, meet with people, go to school, go to work or just stay at home and slump all day. Who would’ve thought that with just a snap, everything would change? With the twist of events in our life, many have been asking the same question all over again. Many are stuck with this thought. “When are things going back to normal?” Then suddenly, I realized, probably things will never be the same.
Being quarantined felt like being caged. In the first weeks, I felt so different, different as if my life has turned 360 degrees not knowing what would happen next. Being confined in the four corners of my house this long made me regret not taking the chances of going out that I had before. It is frustrating to not have physical interactions with anyone aside from my family. Although I am quite used to being lost in my thoughts, I never felt this lonely. The changes in my routine made me feel so isolated. The thought of having this feeling be normal frightens me. The uncertainty in our situations makes it worse.
Gone are the days when going out can still be our first option and social distancing was not yet a thing. With this new lifestyle that we have today, what do you think will be the face of our social life after the quarantine? As humans, we are innately adaptive to being around people. We need that human connection. We need our support system from others, but as odd as it is, possibly after this, almost everyone will be walking in the streets 6 feet apart or just be talking to their screens.
As we live day by day, we do not know what the future holds. We do not know when are we able to see our friends, our relatives, and other people. While some are more sociable online, others may feel alone. Intimate conversations, on the other hand, might be limited due to physical distancing. I would rather video call my friend than eat outside with two separate tables! My 2019 self would say that it is weird, but that is the reality now.
No doubt, physical distancing can immensely affect our way of socializing but despite these, at the end of the day, there are things to be grateful for. Kind hearts are reaching out to others through donations. Creative minds are making others laugh online. These prove to us that human connection is not lost and while we seek to have the normal life back, the life we had before all this madness, we should realize that normal will always be going to be different tomorrow than it is today. Normal will always be new. There will be major changes, small changes, negative changes, and positive changes but even if we were forced to live differently, we can still be in control even in our little ways. It is normal to feel like we do not have many choices as before, but always remember that we do. Some things are out of control, but one thing that we can do is to make the most of our circumstances. In these two sides of the story, let us choose the light amidst the darkness within. We accept the bad, take the good, and live life. After all, this is the new normal.