The strange New Normal

The strange New Normal is here… and is probably here to stay.

The New Normal, according to various publications “is a previously unfamiliar or atypical situation that has become standard, or expected.”

In the not so distant past, we have been operating according to some time-honored bureaucratic rules that are not pertinent anymore. The present COVID-19 crisis forces us to come up with new solutions that are more adapted to the present situation. It also encourages us to come up with practical answers instead of lamenting the past.

Presently, the medical profession is at the forefront of the battle against the disease. But it is being overwhelmed and can barely respond to the demand.

The New Normal demands that a sick person uses Telehealth instead of physically showing at the doctor’s office. No unnecessary direct contact. This is something that might endure in the future. It is by the way, already in use with Kaiser Permanente.

Also, of great interest…

Faced with the Covid-19 epidemic, three British outfits will try to apply a method already used to detect Parkinson’s disease.
British researchers will try to train dogs to detect the new coronavirus and identify sick people to help curb the spread of the disease, announced a specialized association on Friday 27 March. Huffpost

Many people are now working from home, and after the pandemic fades away, this practice might become more widespread. The employee saves time and reduces pollution by eschewing traffic. The employer benefits by reducing office space and paying less for rent. Meetings will also be held online.

In the future, children might not have to trek to schools every day. If online teaching succeeds, some parents might resolve to keep their children home. And they could decide what curriculum would (or should) be taught. This trend could also become the New Normal.

And don’t ever underestimate the clout and the financial weight of the dating business. To the despair of many, the Coronavirus has created havoc on online dating. Since people cannot meet physically anymore, the dating giants are launching Virtual Dating a system previously judged too invasive. People will now be able to communicate face to face prior to dating and exchange selfies instead of merely texting.
This new modus operandi will certainly remain in place after the virus is defeated.

So, be ready for the New Normal. It is already there and probably won’t leave after the war is over.

Alain

Imaginative confinement

Confinement, like it or not, is presently compulsory. But this state of affairs is not for the highly-strung… unless you already have jail time experience.

The main problems with this predicament are the twin brothers called Boredom and Restlessness. We humans (and wild animals alike) are not used to remain inactive for long periods. We need to periodically exercise mind and body.

As a child, when I visited a zoo, I often reflected and empathized with the caged animals. In those days, out of ignorance, these poor creatures were unfortunately treated without any compassion, especially the big cats. Now, most of the zoos do a better job, but nobody should remain in permanent confinement.

To stay fully functional, living creatures need to periodically occupy brains and brawn.

You are in a better position to tackle confinement if you have a hobby. Any hobby, to take your mind off the present, lasting and depressing situation.

Besides boobtubing and reading, writing, chess, Scrabble, cleaning, sex, cooking, calling friends (through Zoom), rearranging your living space are good recreational activities.
But vary your projects; do not spend more than a few hours on the same activity… it could be taxing, especially when engaged in pata-pata (South African).

I try to be as multitasking as possible. During the day, I shred old documents, write, catch a bit of news, rearrange a room, add a few sentences to a story, go to the bathroom, go for a walk, take occasional pictures, bicker with my wife, etc.

You need to be creative (and I will one more time refute our president), be prepared for a long siege. This damn virus is a tough customer and will not leave on its own. It will have to be fought intelligently and kicked out manu-militari.

In the meantime

Researchers worldwide (including tiny but tech-savvy Israel) are racing with time to create an antidote or a vaccine to neutralize the beast.
When this happens and confinement is finally lifted, there will be an explosion of joy similar (maybe even bigger) to the announcement of the end of World War II in Europe.
And I hope to be there… with all of you.

In the meantime, keep busy, wash your hands, retain social distances and be damn grateful to all the medical professionals who are risking their lives to save the world.

Lots of hugs and virtual kisses!

Alain

We are all in the same boat

I usually wake up around 6:30 am and turn on my TV set to take the pulse of the nation… and the world.

I am glad to see that newscasters are doing what medical authorities are preaching. They are now seating at a “social distance” from each other and showing by example what has been urged from everybody. This is a basic precaution that many people still fail to observe. Make no mistake, we are at war, and if you are not fastidiously careful there will be lots of casualties and collateral damage.

The Coronavirus is spreading and regardless of race, gender or political affiliation, we are all at risk. And by the way, I hate to disabuse you, but no amount of prayers is going to help. Places of worship don’t provide any special divine protection and should be avoided.

In Russia, some people are flocking to churches and kissing orthodox icons. Probably the worse and deadliest mistake that can be made. The authorities are trying to discourage this practice but old habits are dying hard. If you absolutely need to pray (some people do) do it silently, without touching or kissing anything.
Be mindful that kissing has become a deadly sin, punishable by death.

Talking about kissing, I read that sex workers all over the world are also feeling the pinch. Just like the stock market, their trade has taking a terrible plunge leaving a multitude of workers without income.

Workers in the sex industry say clients are canceling and strip clubs and brothels are shutting down.

 This is getting serious! Closing brothels is akin to prohibition. Regardless of the risk people will still be seeking sex. But like booze in the old days, it cannot be brought from Canada.

But everything is not lost. In dire situations, one needs to be resourceful. Sex workers have first hand experience (pun intended) of the business and can use their expertise to generate some income.

They can start a second career in erotica. They have the experience and should be able to translate it into words. This cottage industry is now flourishing and publishers and readers alike are hungry for new stories. And while doing some research, I was surprised to learn that most of the stories are written by women for women. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!

We are living in crazy times… Some people are now worried that the damn Covid-19 virus could hide in men’s beards… Under Peter the Great, men were ordered to shave their beards or pay a heavy fine.

Donald the Great might order to implement this measure to show that he is taking an active part in fighting this nasty war.

Until I am proven wrong, I refuse to shave every day. I am lazy and for the next foreseeable future, I won’t have to kiss anybody.

Keep safe!

Alain