Measurable Progress applies in this case! More people falling ill or fewer? More people surviving or fewer? More people reconnecting with each other or everyone more isolated? How are we progressing? Are the steps we’re taking producing any results?
People are self isolating, self quarantining, except to go to the store and buy more toilet paper. I understand it now though. How many of you waited until you got to work and had your first 15 min break to use the bathroom? Ya, uhuh. See? We were all peeing on company time and using the company toilet paper. Who knows how much toilet paper you have to have to compensate for all the times you now have to go to your own bathroom? And all you folks that went to the restroom in the restaurants? And the movie theaters? And the doctors’ offices? We were unprepared to have to purchase our own toilet paper and of course we panicked! Did they do the math? “Honey? How much do you use every time you go?” “You mean you want me to count the sheets?” “Well…yes?” “And how often do you go every day?” Gets out calculator. Dang! We’d better stock up! And of course, since we never take our calculators to the grocery store, we don’t know how many 2-ply or 1-ply sheets per roll and how well they, ahem, do the job.
What else are we unprepared for? Breakfast at home instead of in the car? Nobody brown-bagged their lunches at work. You’d have to label them and protect them from getting stolen. Wait, colas cost that much in the store? What a rip off they charge that much in the vending machine!!! Actual food for dinner? You CAN have all your favorite foods delivered to you, but those delivery charges will really mess you up! You gotta save your money now because they don’t need you and so they won’t pay you. Oops? We were supposed to save our money BEFORE everything got shut down and we all lost our jobs? How were we supposed to do that? OH and BTW, glasses or cups work great for getting water from the tap. Free water instead of paying for it? Well DUH! If you can tell the difference between filtered, mountain stream water from the pristine pipes in Detroit and the stuff coming out of your sink, well, you have a better palate than I do! And it means less plastic in the landfill or the oceans.
ANYWAY, we all want to get back to Normal. Or do we? What is normal? Is normal just something we’re used to? Will those working from home really want to go back to the office? Will they really want to get up and dressed and spend money on gas and drive-thru to sit in a stifling cube all day? Why go to a building where it takes you 15 min to get to the bathroom when you can work 6 feet from the bathroom at home? Why spend an hour in rush traffic twice a day instead of just moseying into your office in your sweats? Aren’t you more relaxed and less distracted? If you have kids and a spouse and pets at home, those can be managed, the quiet is unsurpassed. With no place to go, it doesn’t matter what the gas prices are. HAHAHA! Take THAT OPEC! You can watch movies at home with the very best cub scout popcorn. You can cook with your spouse or SO. You can be adventurous and have stuff other than pizza and burgers.
Now even important meetings can be done remotely, and you can play solitaire during the boring parts. Check your email, change your status on FB. Just click your clicker when you need to.
Here’s the thing though.
NORMAL is the petri dish that made all this corona virus so virulent. Work this problem out. Find ways to be more efficient and actually enjoy the quarantine. Revel in your relationships with your spouse and kids. Enjoy the quiet. Work in your garden. Work puzzles together. Teach your kids how to play Monopoly and other board games. Get off your phone. Limit your time on the computer. Make a NEW NORMAL! It cannot go back to the way it was. The only way to put the worms back in the can is to get a bigger can. Once people have had to be innovative and resourceful, they may not want someone thinking for them. Once people have tasted self reliance, will they want to be dominated and made other-reliant again? Some will, some won’t.
What will you do? What is your new normal?