Posted on April 29, 2020
The New Normal
We have a normal. As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal. - Robin Sharma
There has been much talk, as Coronavirus holds the world to ransom, of social distancing becoming the new normal until a treatment or vaccine is found. This virus has bred fear and mistrust of indulging in the most basic of human instincts: touch
No longer are we able to hug our loved ones and friends if they’re not of our immediate household. We cannot shake hands when meeting someone new – although there’s very little of that going on at the moment. Our body language, particularly towards strangers, is becoming ever-increasingly hostile.
While taking a walk we cross the road to avoid getting too close – often afraid to exchange greetings, fearful our breaths may mingle. We are being starved of the love and affection that nourishes our souls.
So why do we conform just because the government tells us to stay at least two meters apart? Why to we keep our adult children on the drive when they lovingly bring shopping? Why do we tell our grandchildren – who we love beyond measure – that they cannot come to visit? Why do we stay at home?
To save the NHS?
Partly, but the real reason – I believe – is to satisfy that deep, innate sense within us: Survival. Ultimately, we are afraid to die and whatever horrors we suffer, the instinct to survive kicks in. This deeply-embedded drive, which ensures the continuation of our species, gives us one of the greatest tools we have on this Earth: The ability to adapt.
Whatever shattering experience rocks our world, whether it’s the death of someone we love, divorce, losing our job, we learn to live with the consequences. Not always happily but our way of life settles into a new routine: a different pattern. A new normal.
I just hope, for the sanity of mankind, social distancing is a temporary “new normal” and fear of human contact doesn’t become so ingrained we continue distancing even after scientists have found a way to keep us safe from the clutches of Coronavirus.
I suspect our fear of being in close contact with others will be temporary. After all, Coronavirus is not the first to terrorise our world. Our ancestors have suffered The Plague, Smallpox, Diphtheria – to name just a few. All of which were highly contagious, with devastatingly high mortality rates. These diseases would also have brought fear of close human contact.
But our species is ultimately built on love. We create new life through love and we thrive on touch, affection and kindness and I believe that, given time, our need for love will supersede our fears.