Coronavirus in Goa Photograph:( Reuters )
Here is an answer to this, but it needs the patience to hear
The coronavirus pandemic has brought the world together and everyone is singing the same prayer. Everybody wants normalcy to return and get their old lives back.
The question being asked in every conversation is: When will things get back to normal?
Here is an answer to this, but it needs the patience to hear.
One needs to understand that normalcy is subjective and it changes with time and place. Some people in New York thought normalcy had finally come earlier this week with the opening of tattoo parlours.
Thousands risked their lives in desperation to cling on to the past, forgetting that it might ruin their future.
During the world wars, not having a bomb drop in your city was normal. In the Great Depression, feeding your family was normal.
This pandemic is nothing sort of a disaster and in this old rules do not apply.
There exists a new normal, and staying at home and social distancing are a part of it.
But, people find it hard to accept. In the so-called Super Saturday, thousands flocked to pubs as early as 6 am to guzzle beer in the UK, jeopardising their own and others' safety.
A similar scene was seen in New Delhi in May when unending queues were seen outside liquor shops even before they reopened.
People pushed and nudged and several did not wear masks.
The gatherings, outings that were part of our lives before the outbreak cannot be squeezed in to our present and even an attempt towards it could be disastrous.
Your new tattoo can wait, pub crawl can take time, enjoying beaches can be delayed for a while.
One needs to wake up the new normal.
Hundreds gathered on the streets of Puri last month for the annual rath yatra or the chariot festival. People in favour of this festival argued that since this event happens every year, it must happen this year too.
Well, there is a reason to not carry out this yatra and that is the pandemic.
This is not the right time to celebrate memorial day weekend, 4th of July weekend with the fireworks. But the people in the US did not accept this despite country crossing 3 million cases and these weekend gatherings made things worse.
So, the answer is: "right now is normal". Staying at home is normal. Avoiding crowded places, non-essential services are normal. Prioritising safety is the new normal.
There are two options: one is to acknowledge this normal or risk your future by clinging on to the old definition of normal.