Betty Kaiser's Chatterbox - Coming Soon: Another New Normal

Two years ago, the COVID-19 was just beginning to kill all ages of people around the world. As it migrated, it changed our lives. A year ago, it was going full speed ahead and most conversations with even complete strangers began with: “When this is all over...”

Well, now it looks like there’s hope on the horizon and we may soon get back to normal. Whatever that is. News briefs seem to also say “it probably won’t ever be over. Just under control.” Perhaps we should call it: “The New Normal.” 

We’ve all certainly lived a different normal these past two years. It has dramatically changed everyone’s lifestyle and what we can and cannot do. 

On the one hand, some of the things that I say now really make me laugh. For-instance, I find myself muttering: “I can’t believe I’m putting on a mask and going into a bank!”

On the other hand, I panic if I feel an allergy-related sneeze or cough coming on with people around. I sure hope the masks work and will soon be gone because I am tired of not breathing!

Grocery shopping quickly became an urban safari as we all hunted down what were once easy purchases. We’re not used to empty shelves. It was especially bad in the early months, when finding toilet paper and Lysol, was like panning for gold.

I gave up trying to buy hand sanitizer and made my own to put in my purse and our cars. Thanks for the recipe, Kay!

Cleanliness overflowed at home. The minute one of us walked in the door: “Honey, did you wash your hands after driving the car, going to the mailbox, etc. ?” You fill in the blanks…

money and jobs, became very serious topics of conversation. 

The lives of teachers and their students dramatically changed! The teachers I talked with have worked themselves to the bone to deliver education remotely. My daughter-in-law loves her students so much that she gave out her home phone number and parents were calling all night long. That eventually changed but working with her students is her life’s joy as is for most teachers.  

The PEW Research Center said that working at home improved life for some but not others: Around one-in-five Americans (23 percent) said the pandemic negatively impacted their job or career. By contrast, just 13 percent mentioned positive changes and some teleworkers enjoyed the extra time of non-commuting.

However, some people’s hours were cut and others had no money to spend once government assistance gave out. They could barely cover rent and needed assistance to feed their family.

On the other hand, some still had income but were spending less because there was nowhere to go and nothing to do. No travel. No guests at home. No eating at restaurants, etc. 

In fact, most of the people I talk with are somewhat depressed with this new lifestyle of no gathering of friends and neighbors or even church! We miss that social human contact! 

Now, after two years and more than 926,000 deaths in the U.S., there’s hope on the horizon. New cases are dwindling.

Maybe life will life will be back to normal by … You fill in the blanks. I simply do not know and neither does anyone else!

God bless and stay well!

Contact Betty Kaiser’s Chatterbox by email at [email protected]