These three definitions of normality – (1) statistical, (2) aspirational, (3) functional – often end up sliding into each other during everyday conversation. This collapse is evident in many of our discussions about what “the new normal” will look like once Covid-19 is under control. The new normal will mean that most of us will go back to most of what we were doing before the pandemic struck (1), but that our societies will make changes for the better (2), which will end up being good for the survival of our communities (3).
Often what matters more though is our desire to return to a better time in the past, even if such times may not have existed. This is something Jack Antonoff catches in his song I Miss Those Days:
Well everyone is changing
And the storefronts carry weight now
And I’m sorry that you saw me when I lost my way
But it’s all coming back, yeah
Like the feeling isn’t over
Hey, I know I was lost but I miss those days
Borrowing from Henri Bergson, Ambrosino posits that what matters more is that fact that we will continue.