There's a word.
Might be the word of the year.
If these are unprecedented times (and it's hard to argue they are not), is this a blip on the radar? And when the coast is clear, do things go back to the way they were in February?
Or will some aspects not return to normal (or at least not right away)?
I'm asking "What do you think has changed (and might be the new normal)?"
Here are a few things that have changed:
When people are around each other (at the grocery story, at the gas station, at Home Depot), they seem reluctant to even make eye contact. And they may nod, but there is very little connection.
At the same time, social media indicates a heightened loneliness and longing for connection, for community.
Uncertainty about the future seems to have increased. At least in the U.S., the confidence that exuded from many about the economy, low unemployment, and opportunity seems to have reversed in less than a month!
Attendance in many churches seems to be increasing. Online attendance, a little challenging to measure, seems to be growing.
What happens when the pandemic ends?
Do things return to normal? Or will certain aspects become the new normal?
For example, when social distancing and sheltering-in-place are no longer recommendations or requirements, will people automatically resume shaking hands with strangers and hugging friends?
When coronavirus hospitalizations dwindle and deaths become unusual, will returning to public places (restaurants, bars, concerts, sports arenas and stadiums, beaches and churches) be automatic?
Will employment numbers return to normal? Will there be a V recovery or a U recovery?
The new normal for connection and community:
Let's just say, there are a lot more questions today than answers.
One thing I think I can say for sure, social distancing and sheltering-in-place have heightened the longing to belong.
And belonging is something that can be made readily available.
The method of connection might be altered, at least temporarily. But our responsibility and opportunity is to never stop offering community to those who desperately seek it.
Social distancing and sheltering-in-place have heightened the longing to belong. And belonging is something that can be made readily available. The method of connection might be altered, at least temporarily. But our responsibility and… Click To Tweet