The New New Normal

 

Stay six feet apart. Wear your mask. This, we were told, is the New Normal.

Then “two weeks to slow the curve” turned into much, much more. 14 days became 14 months. It started with the shutdown of “nonessential businesses.” But who decides what is essential? Politicians, of course, but they told us they were using “science.” Liquor stores were essential. Clothing stores were not. If you ever criticized someone for sitting around the house drunk and naked rather than going to work, you need to apologize. They were performing essential services. You could still buy clothes at Walmart, but only because they also sell Pop Tarts, which makes them essential.

Restaurants were allowed to stay open as long as they didn’t let anyone come in and eat, which was kind of an important part of their business model. Pizza places thrived with takeout orders but other restaurants with food that didn’t travel as well struggled. After a few months, people were allowed to eat out, but they had to do so in the restaurant’s parking lot, not inside the building itself. A nice option in the spring that became less attractive as summer brought in humidity and bugs. When the cooler weather of fall and winter came, businesses added walls and heaters to their parking lot’s tent dining room. Some places were so effective that their outdoor structures almost felt like eating indoors. But don’t worry, the structures weren’t up to code so, COVID-safe according to the politicians’ arbitrary rules science.

Then, as the science evolved, we were allowed back into our dining establishments. The tables were a little farther apart and you had to wear a mask. Eating with a mask is less than ideal, so it was determined that you needed a mask when you stood upright, but not when you sat down. I guess the virus stays up high. We also had curfews, so the virus is probably nocturnal. The rules, after all, were reactions to science.

When the lockdown first started, my church shut down. Later when they started to allow larger gatherings, they decided to stay shut instead of having to decide who could or could not praise Jesus on any given Sunday. During that time we gathered “together” at Our Lady of YouTube. Eventually, our governor started to allow larger gatherings because he is up for reelection the science had changed. Our church reopened but went from one service to two. This allowed greater distancing, but we still had to wear masks. Then it happened. Since so many people were vaccinated, the CDC decided that vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks. That is why I got the vaccine in the first place. Church became more normal, but with two services it was still a smaller crowd.

Two weeks ago we had a guest singer at the church. No split services. Everyone together plus a lot of others who came just to hear the singer. With 900-1,000 people in our building it meant no social distancing. A handful of people had masks, but just a handful. Since this was more of a worship service than a concert it meant that many in the crowd were singing along. Previously we were told that singing was problematic because of all the exhaling. This night felt normal because it was normal. The New New Normal and it was just like the old Normal. That was the most normal day I had in the past year and a half.

And now . . . hold off on the New New Normal. Really? Yesterday I was outside a gift shop in Cape Cod (that also sells fudge) and they had a sign talking about CDC guidelines and request that you wear a mask, regardless of your vaccination status. Recently in Provincetown, they had a group of people get COVID. Most were vaccinated. This was during “Bear Week” and I am going to make a wild guess that social distancing was not really being practiced.

COVID is real. If you get it could be a mild inconvenience or it could be life-threatening. What would it be for you? I have no idea and neither do our so-called experts who are “following the science.” Be safe, take precautions, and then live your life. You look out for you. I’ll look out for me, and when the experts try to mandate what we “have to do,” we will tell them where to shove their mandate say, “No thank you.”

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  1. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    They’ve turned asinine up to aseleven.

    • #1
  2. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle
    @MattBartle

    Two lies the powers that be can’t stop telling:

    • they understand what’s going on
    • they know what to do about it

     

    • #2
  3. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Amen

    • #3
  4. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Matt Bartle (View Comment):

    Two lies the powers that be can’t stop telling:

    • they understand what’s going on
    • they know what to do about it

     

    In general, not just with respect to Covid-19. See global warming climate change, crime, poverty, transportation, housing, economics, etc. 

    • #4
  5. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Nice post Vance.

    • #5
  6. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Sometimes I get the feeling that the era of 1930-45 has been so romanticized this generation has decided this is going to be their era of glorified suffering and are angry at anyone who won’t wallow with them.

    Others are just on a power trip and still more are genuinely scared. I despise the former and fear for the latter. If Covid moves from pandemic to endemic (and it will) they are in for a helluva future of sitting in their back room encased in bubble wrap. 

    • #6
  7. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Sometimes I get the feeling that the era of 1930-45 has been so romanticized this generation has decided this is going to be their era of glorified suffering and are angry at anyone who won’t wallow with them.

    Others are just on a power trip and still more are genuinely scared. I despise the former and fear for the latter. If Covid moves from pandemic to endemic (and it will) they are in for a helluva future of sitting in their back room encased in bubble wrap.

    Agreed. Also: they don’t know very much about 1930 – 1945, at all. 

    • #7
  8. James Salerno Coolidge
    James Salerno
    @JamesSalerno

    And all discussions on taking care of your physical being are completely absent from the conversation.

    A healthy, informed population cannot be controlled. They want you to be fat and dumb.

    • #8