The ‘new normal’?

Published on: May 28, 2020


The ‘new normal’?

Now that we’ve entered our “new” normal, will we ever get back to our “old” normal? I haven’t a clue. But maybe we shouldn’t worry about it and not do too much looking back when we need to be looking ahead. If what you’re missing is something special like holding a newborn grandbaby, attending a class reunion or sitting in the bleachers at a football game, it will be back in some form.

At this point, it’s more important to figure out what we’ve learned from our new normal. Of course, this entire situation was unforeseen, unwanted and devastating, but the whole pandemic has offered us a chance for some self-reflection.

One of the big things we’ve learned is that you need a reserve cash fund. I now have one at home. We’ve always had one at the chamber although it just didn’t have that label until now.

New technology made a grand entrance. I’d never heard of Zoom before. Now I’m on about five Zoom calls each week. And I didn’t know Facebook could be live. Both have evolved with their own unique languages. For the first time in a meeting, I’m saying, “unmute yourself” and “write your questions in the chat box.” Work meetings never used to contain cats, dogs and kids wandering in and out of frame. And yes, there were those unfortunate pantless moments that were caught on Zoom. All part of working remotely.

I’m glad the chamber stayed safely open. Working at home is not something I do well. When I take my work home on the weekends, work is a battle with the family pets sitting on the laptop, that load of laundry calling my name and too many movies on TV. But many companies have found that the working remotely model works better for their business and will continue that practice going forward.

I know this whole process can get on our nerves, but I think people are actually nicer than I thought they would be. People are checking on their friends, family and elderly neighbors. Shopping trips have two lists – our own and our neighbors. My husband went to Sam’s Club for gas and ended up giving blood. That’s the kind of good stuff we’re running into now in this new normal.

We have learned that nurses, doctors and all other healthcare professionals and first responders are heroes and that grocery store and factory workers need to make more money!

We will get through this: Better together. Whatever you need, I am here for you. I may not have all the answers, but I have become a Google expert.

Lynne Conlan is Executive Director of the Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce, 813-634-5111,