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Murray Journal

Life and Laughter – A Brave New World

Sep 01, 2020 09:05AM ● By Peri Kinder

By Peri Kinder

Not necessarily known for our patience, Americans are suffering from COVID fatigue. People can’t wait for things to return to a “new normal” like suddenly everything’s going to be ice cream sundaes and furry kittens. The way 2020 is going, the new normal will probably be kitten sundaes and furry ice cream.

Our world has changed, for better or worse, so now’s a good time to decide what we keep and what we toss. I’m all for tossing office jobs, dress pants and family reunions, while keeping pajamas-as-clothes, Uber Eats and virtual baby showers. 

Let’s look at how the new normal is evolving, shall we?

Sports – Like a canary in a coal mine, team sports started up this summer with the hope of bringing entertainment to millions of sports-starved individuals, and millions of dollars to money-starved sports organizations. It’s been a bit Hunger Games-ish as teams drop out once their players contract COVID. Who’d have thought activities that include spitting, shouting, sweating and grunting could easily spread viruses?

School – Or as I like to call it, the Catch-22 Education Plan. Parents and teachers are negotiating this real-life version of Oregon Trail where one wrong move can end up with junior high students being eaten by cannibals in Donner Pass. (Not the worst thing.) Here’s an idea: make the best decision for your family without judging everyone else. 

Parenting – Let’s just agree that “screen time” rules have been suspended indefinitely, and it’s just fine if your toddler wears the same outfit for three days or your 10-year-old is a Roblox addict. Let’s also agree chicken nuggets are healthy, YouTube personalities are annoying, and everyone gets a blue ribbon for doing the best they can. 

Work – Every introvert’s birthday wish was granted when they were told to work from home. Turns out, with these new-fangled computers, lots of stuff can be done at home. Who knew? Maybe companies don’t need 50,000 square feet of office and ping-pong space, or outdoor meditation biospheres.

Date night – You’ve spent an inordinate amount of time with your significant other. You’ve worked from home together, prepared 5,459 meals together, and rearranged closets, sock drawers and bathroom cabinets. Maybe the new normal will be individuals spending date night alone so they don’t drive to the grocery store one day and end up with a new life in Cheyenne.

Weddings – Can we please standardize virtual weddings and receptions? That is all.

Holidays – Even with social distancing guidelines, summer holidays stayed the same as everyone went to national parks, held BBQs and spent the day sitting at the community pool with hundreds of other people. These holidays were always followed by a COVID spike. I’m sure the fall/winter holidays will be no different because people are crappy at following CDC advisories. 

The 2020 Election – It’s been 28 years since the 2016 election and this year’s election has disaster written all over it. Literally. Will there be mail-in ballots? Russian interference? A loser who refuses to leave the White House? Civil war? The return of our alien overlords? All of the above? My best guess for election aftermath is equivalent to shaking a Magic 8 Ball and then lighting it on fire. 

Mindset – Some people say COVID will help the world achieve a higher level of consciousness where people are more compassionate, kind, understanding and . . . hahahaha . . . never mind. I don’t think we’re there yet. Time to go make a kitten sundae.