Boru: The new normal is just another phase and not a permanent change

Subhead: It is time we get used to the ever-changing new normals for however long it takes


by Luul Boru

COVID-19 has graced us with its unfortunate presence since late 2019. We are going into our third year of the pandemic having lived through one of the worst times in history. Those of us still standing and resilient, taking every precaution needed and getting vaccinated, are hopeful that this suffering will end.

The threat COVID-19 posed was undermined by the Trump administration in the early days of the pandemic and from then on, the condition started going from bad to worse. In 2020 alone, there were 352,000 deaths accounted for. Even worse, 2021 surpassed the number of fatalities recording 353,000 deaths, according to data from John Hopkins University. Vaccines became rapidly available for the majority of people in 2021 and yet, we have fallen short of containing the virus as a country.

However, the vaccine rollout most likely prevented an even worse crisis. But then, how can you completely defeat an invisible enemy? This virus is like a malevolent ghost. When we think we are finally getting to a point of containment, it mutates and multiplies rapidly. Three variations of coronavirus since COVID-19 are accounted for: the variants alpha, delta, and omicron.

Unfortunately, this is the new normal and we can no longer put a timeline on the virus nor wish it to just disappear. Even if a magic wand had the ability to rid us of the virus, it would be futile. The new normal we so desperately wish for is the one we are in now, overwhelmed by the omicron variant with its higher transmissibility rate than SARS-Cov-2, or COVID-19.

Feeling helpless in these years is the new normal. Losing jobs and students being sent home from schools is the new normal. Hosting Zoom parties and restaurants requiring proof of vaccination or negative test results is the new normal. Constant email notifications regarding COVID-19 cases at our job sites and having to report to work anyway is the new normal.

Overusing the word ‘normal’ doesn’t make this world crisis feel any more normal. There is really nothing normal about losing those close to us to a virus and losing countless lives worldwide just in the past two years. There is nothing normal about the virus mutating and spreading like a wildfire.

But, despite all these hardships, we have to stay sane and we do that by using less harsh words in talking about the inevitable bad news of the virus and all that comes with it. If there is anything I learned from history, no single period in history lasts forever and a day will come when COVID-19 becomes part of the past, but will never be forgotten.

Life gets easier when we let go of what we can’t control and this virus is an example of that. It is time to live our days as they come, taking all the precautions necessary to live beyond the years of COVID-19 and experience what normal was like once again.