Clearly normalcy has a new meaning. All the things that were “normal” before, are things that don’t even exist these days. Okay, saying they don’t exist might be pushing it a tad bit, but what I mean is that those are things we just can’t simply do anymore or suddenly a lot of requirements were put in place to keep us safe. The way we work, learn, and share have all gone digital. Nothing wrong with that in my opinion, but of course the human touch is missing in so many things.
And I say I don’t think is all that bad in my opinion because at least we can remain connected and we can still move forward as a society with digital platforms that enable us to do things from home with just internet connection. I mean, imagine what our “present” would look like if this pandemic had happened 20 years ago. Think about how much and how fast could you have been able to communicate with others using a Nokia 3310 cellphone? Sure people started getting better with pressing those keys to type words but try to remember how long it took you to send a message then versus one you send now on your iPhone 11 with emojis? It’s quite different!
The capabilities to browse online, send emails and do video calls were very limited 20 years ago. Why do I want to bring this to your attention? Well, because I don’t want you to forget how fortunate we are to be facing an epidemic while being able to remain connected to the world in a safe way. Yes, I know we want to do things face-to-face now, but just remember how much you actually talked to people using a landline until not that long ago. We called, we talked for hours, we checked-in. Now that people can post “updates” on social media about what they are doing, we no longer talk to anyone live because we feel we already know what is going on and we are “connected“… interesting, huh? So why is it that people are desperate to get out and be with others out of the sudden…. why?
And while I can’t explain the unattainable urge we have to always be chasing or wanting the things we can’t have, I can’t tell you is very related to what is happening now. I’m not a psychologist or neuroscientist to explain to you how our behaviors and brain work, but I am interested enough to do some reading. As I see it, we’ve been doing this for, like, ever! There are multiple theories out there to support this. I guess is part of our human nature; that urge to feel challenged in order to grow. Trust me, I get it! I am one who is always saying challenges are good for us and who is continuously looking for opportunities to grow (not always successful at it in all honesty). And I bring to your attention to it in this particular light because is very relevant to what we have going on right now.
People are feeling “incommunicado” and it does make me wonder… but are you really? If you need groceries, you can order them through the multiple apps that will bring them to your doorstep to prevent you from crowding the grocery stores. If you need to refill your prescriptions, you can have them mailed to you to avoid coming into hospitals that are overwhelmed with this pandemic. If you are craving your fave boba tea, or tacos, or pizza, you can order takeout (while supporting small businesses) to avoid eating at a place that physically can’t support social distancing. If you need to check on your family and friends, you can do so through the multiple video call choices we have available to avoid putting yourself and others at risk. I mean this list is quite long but these are just a few examples to get that picture in your head: we can still getting the things we need and want under slightly different circumstances. So why is the fuzz to reopen it all pronto when is too risky? Is that urge to always want what we don’t have.
Now, don’t think I am not aware that there are SO many people being affected by these closures. I know it, I acknowledge their situation and respect their struggle. I am merely pointing out that we are set up in a position with lots of advantage because we haven’t gone back a gazillion steps with this pandemic. We have just been limited to a few things to keep us safe until things get better which is expected with the containment of the virus spread and/or a vaccine. So this is just me reminding you that while we are in a compromised position, we are still in better shape than many third world countries and you should value that advantage.
A few days ago, I was listening to a podcast about how to safely return kiddos back to school for in-person education. The scientist being interviewed said there are two scientific reasons for that strong push to reopen schools: the need we have as humans for human interaction which as a growing human beings helps in developing functional adults and the need we have as humans under the age of 10 for learning under a hands on environment. Simple, right? I think so. At least it makes sense to me. Then she went to share details about schools in certain European countries that have successfully reopened schools and also a few that have failed in their attempt. The social distancing requirements were the same for all, but the difference between succeeding and failing was in containment of the virus within the smaller communities before moving forward with schools reopening. Makes sense, right? So what does that have to do with this all? A lot in my opinion.
Trust me, I want my kids back in their classroom but only when it is safe. I don’t care if they are “less likely” to get sick. Less likely is not the same as NOT getting sick at all. Since we are so eager and dreading for our normalcy to come back, we must ask ourselves: are we doing EVERYTHING we possible can to help move in that direction? Let’s put this way: if I told you that for our schools to reopen we most work together in our local community, would you be willing to work as one? Considering all that is going on in the US, I think it would be nice to reunite us with one common goal: the safety of our children while being able to continue to learn and grow. And as I want to get this picture in your head, I think I found THE perfect video to help me with this and you will totes love:
Who doesn’t love Finding Nemo?! Love that movie! Don’t you think this would work for us? Imagine that net are the limitations we are currently struggling with due to the pandemic. And just as our society is currently divided in every possible way, imagine all those fish pulling in all directions creating chaos is the many views about how to get us out of that net or in our case back to normalcy. Imagine that getting off that net means our schools will be safe to reopen, can we all swim down together to break free? Yes we can!
I know our country is more divided than ever. I think a good part of this is how we are being affected by the pandemic. But getting back to normal, getting to a point that is fair for all, getting out of this economical pause, getting to better grounds would be possible if instead of pointing fingers and pushing our way on others, we worked together. We can do this! We HAVE to do this! It is in everyone’s interest, so lets get to it. Is all about perspective, right? We are fortunate to remain connected while physically being distant. With that gift of connectivity comes the opportunity for all of us to swim in the same direction of that unattainable urge to be physically close again and that we have taken control of life once more.
We got this!
Mama Bear Kim