📑 Why it will be so hard to return to ‘normal’

Bookmarked Why it will be so hard to return to ‘normal’ (bbc.com)

Perhaps if there is something to hold onto in all of this, it is not our definition of normality but our insistence on saying “we will”. We’re not sure what exactly the future will look like – which is why we prefer to discuss it in the familiar terms of the good ol’ days – but we know that it’s coming to greet us.

Brandon Ambrosino explains that there is nothing normal about the word ‘normal’.

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.

This has me revisiting my thoughts on idealsrevisiting my thoughts on ideals, as well as comparing the different definitions of ‘normal’ with Tom Barrett’s discussion of the new normal.

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