Do you remember your last normal day or week before all this Coronavirus craziness began? Maybe the last time out with your friends where you all hugged hello and goodbye, sat close together at a table, or even shared a sip out of each other’s drinks?
I realized the other day while watching a romantic comedy that everything has changed for us in a really short time. In the movie, a woman and man had just met, so they shook hands. And then she was touching his arm. Then they hugged. And then they kissed, and you know what… I felt myself recoiling in a tiny Corona panic with each violation of shared space. It was nuts! No more watching romcoms for a while, I guess.
This is our new mindset now: Don’t get too close. Don’t touch anyone or anything. Wash your hands constantly. Wear a mask. But it hasn’t always been like this – just a short seven or eight weeks ago, we were still blissfully living normal lives and totally unaware of the Coronavirus threat.
Case in point: on our last normal Friday night, I threw a slumber party for our ten year old and her friends. Like normal girls of that age, they shared food, candy and drinks; huddled together in small groups around iPhones to make and watch TikToks; hugged a ton; and did each other’s makeup. Then they slept all together in puppy piles around my living room, some even sharing pillows or blankets. That was normal then, but can you imagine doing any of that now?!
Or how about our family’s last normal Sunday night, when we went out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, House of Japan. It’s a hibachi-style Japanese steakhouse so we sat at a table with strangers and chatted with them throughout the meal as we always do when we eat there. How long will it be until we can sit together with strangers and enjoy a chef’s show and delicious dinner?
Then there was my last girls night out with my best friend. I drove to Dayton and we met up for Thai food, then walked over to Wiley’s comedy club in the Oregon District to see her daughter – my awesome goddaughter – perform stand-up. It was an amazing night full of hugs and laughter. And earlier that same week, I attended a moms meetup with other bloggers and influencers to tour Easton’s amazing new 40 Deuce cafe and club – and we all got up on the bar together to take a group photo.
Who among us could have imagined a day when none of those seemingly normal things would be possible anymore?
When things are just ordinary, normal or everyday occurrences, we often take them for granted and don’t commit them to memory. This means that soon, doing things the old “normal” way will be forgotten by many of us. We’ll become accustomed to this new, post-Corona lifestyle before too much longer.
But as a born memoirist, I can’t help but want to write about those good old days and ways… soon only to be seen in rom coms, novels and other pre-Covid media. Remember hand shakes in a business setting? Those will soon be a thing of the past. How about the lovely European dual cheek-kiss greeting? Ditto for that, I’d imagine.
Dating is going to be so much harder now, just think of it. When do you drop the mask and allow someone into your personal space? It’s certainly far too risky to do it with someone you’ve just met. As for drinking alcohol in the time of Corona, I know that it can be hard to keep a mask on when sober – I can only imagine that a few drinks would make that even tougher.
I write this not to be maudlin, but to appreciate the way things were for so long. We had it so good and didn’t even realize it. I know that good things will come out of this Coronavirus time, too – just look at Some Good News and socially distanced neighborhood performances and our newfound and well-deserved appreciation of all the oh-so necessary front-line folks (both healthcare and supply chain/food and delivery workers).
In the meantime, I will enjoy daydreaming and writing about our warm, familiar pre-Covid normal days when we could meet in person, hug and kiss, and crowd together in groups to cheer and have fun at a concert, theme park or sporting event. I want to believe we’ll have those times again someday – and maybe we will.
What do you think – will life ever go completely back to normal, or will these adjustments we’re making become permanent? I’d love to hear from you, as always, in the comments below or over on Facebook.