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The new normal is just the old normal exposed

I read the news, and I watch as the world falls apart. My wife calls me from her weekly stop at the grocery store. Behind her words, I can hear the treble of frustration and possibly despair. How can a neighbourhood of educated and otherwise rational human being get so afraid that they hoard toilet paper? Toilet paper! The shelves were empty of every paper product. Milk is so scarce one would think our neighbourhood is experiencing a famine. I try to be helpful, "Get some almond instead".

While I am concerned about how school cancellations will affect my children's college education I am scared about, the prospect of not having anything to eat because our neighbours have hoarded all the food. But we are privileged. We have high speed internet. My kids have computers. We have multiple grocery store options. Many others are not so fortunate.

Social distancing? How many of you cross the street when you see a homeless person. Do you know anything about your neighbours? Social distancing is not new. It's been going on for a long time. America's warts are showing.

My elderly mother-in-law doesn't speak English very well. She's blissfully unaware of what's going on the world. But she's very friendly with her neighbours. I think she won't understand when we tell her not to let her friends in for tea.

I read article after article about social distancing, which claim this is a new normal. But I think this had always been the norm in the USA. An "every person for themselves normal". A "To heck with you, I got mine" mentality that was always under the surface is now on full display.

Author: Khürt Williams

A human who works in information security and enjoys photography, Formula 1 and craft ale.