Opinion: Americans Should Resist the Urge to Become Comfortable With the So-Called 'New Normal'

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Empty shelves for disinfectant wipes wait for restocking, as concerns grow around COVID-19, Tuesday March 3, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

In a VIP post I wrote last week, I wondered what “normal” would look like once the worse of the Wuhan coronavirus is behind us.

We’re another week into this now, and some days when you look at the numbers it seems like there is no end in sight to the sad news as the number of cases and number of deaths grows.

But something hit me as I was going about my business earlier this week. I don’t even remember what I was doing, but I remember giving myself a mental pat on the back for getting beyond the first two or three weeks of anxiety and anxious moments I had dealt with since it had became clearer than ever that this virus was going to hit and hit hard.

I told myself something along the lines of “you’re adjusting well to the new normal, kid.”

But the more I thought about it, the more I didn’t like the thought of “adjusting well to the new normal.” Though what we’re dealing with is new, it is not normal in any way shape or form.

On the “new normal”, I’m not talking about the virus; that is its own animal altogether. I’m talking about the stay at home/shelter in place orders, the local and statewide orders that have effectively put millions and millions of people out of work. Some of these orders extend at least through the end of this month. Others go into June.

Some of them are truly disturbing. Like the orders that criminalized church-goers simply for parking in a church parking lot, or had people dragged off a bus by police because they weren’t wearing a mask, or some of the draconian stuff that is happening in Michigan under Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

None of that is normal. It should never become normal. Not in our free society.

The Wuhan coronavirus, of course, worries me a great deal – I’m worried about catching it, worried about my family possibly catching it.

But what also keeps me up at night is how easily most everyone has fallen into place. I understand the seriousness of the virus and the need to take precautions, but I’m uneasy with how people who simply ask questions about the data, and when things can start getting back to normal are treated like conspiracy theorists or people who otherwise don’t care if they get themselves or others sick.

Since when did questioning government at all levels become a bad thing? That is what free citizens living in a free society were supposed to do, last I checked.

There has been such a concerted push by the media and people on all sides of the aisle to just go along with whatever governments at all levels recommend you do in this fight. To a certain extent, I’ve been a part of that. But I’ve also asked questions, trying to understand the numbers, the justification for the strict guidelines that have been put into effect in states like mine for what is considered “essential” and what isn’t, what we can and can’t do, etc.

I haven’t gotten many answers. That’s very troubling to me.

I’ll continue to do what I can to keep my family, myself, and my community safe. But I’ll also still continue to ask questions and demand answers, because while reasonable stay at home measures are understandable, they should also have an expiration date.

I’m not going to settle into this “new normal.” Not one bit.