Quarantine Day 16:
“What is your ‘new normal’?” everyone asks. The collective realization that things will not go back to normal, or how they were, for a very long time, if ever. Therefore, we must get used to something new, a new routine, a new way of life, a new “normal”.
This new normal is not leaving my house for days, weeks on end.
It is FaceTiming my best friend for 5 hours every other day because we can’t hang out with each other.
It is being woken up by my mother calling every day to make sure I am still alive and my temperature is still between 97.5 and 98.7.
It is forcing myself to answer said calls, calls from everyone actually, because while I’ve always been alright by myself, everyone is still worried about me.
This new normal doesn’t feel normal at all. It is a weight on my heart yearning for touch. It is a threat overhead for the health and safety of those I love. It is the unnerving attempt at prediction of the future of this world.
This new normal has been exposing the pillars of capitalism so many people pride themselves on. Asian and European countries have halted to contain this virus for the health of their people, while Americans are forced to put on their bravest faces because the state does not allow us to believe for one moment we can stay home and not be dictated by the worth of the dollar. We are not allowed the luxury to rest, pause, take care of ourselves; because we have medical bills, debts, and rent payments to make. Our leaders, our billionaire white men; they refuse to extend a helping hand or cushion our most vulnerable people. So millions of Americans wake up and crowd subway trains, put each other at risk, for minimum wage jobs we need to survive; despite the fact that these actions may very well kill us.
However, what do I know? I am one of the lucky few that has enough saved for a month or two of expenses. So here I sit, at home, quarantined, typing away, hoping this is all over soon and somehow brings capitalism down with it.
I am neither an economist, political scientist, nor doctor.
I am just a writer, hoping to come out of this with some sliver of hope.
Healthy Reminder: Do what you need to survive, but don’t forget about how this is effecting others. As a society we are only as strong as our most vulnerable populations.