The New Normal
April 16th, 2020 By Brian Naillon - GTI Vice President and ATP National Sales Director
As we head towards spring; I would normally be talking about getting out and training with us at GTI, but as everyone is well aware, we are in a state of emergency not only as a nation but globally. We have a global pandemic and with it we are seeing some things that are becoming accepted as normal that really shouldn't be and are explained away as "the new normal". As in "oh well, we just have to get used to it because this is the new normal".
I simply do not agree. I am not saying this to invoke a debate for someone to explain "what it means", but to explain why I don't agree with acceptance of this term as it pertains to economic downturn, government lockdowns, social distancing, fear and chaotic or self-serving behavior being accepted as part of our lives. No matter what comes from this pandemic; I do not wish the current state of affairs we are in to ever become "the new normal".
Now, there is a real issue at hand with respect to the virus but that said we are living in a media driven frenzy of chaos and fear. If you don't believe me just Google "toilet paper fights". Video's and stories of people reacting like Pavlovian dogs to a bell when the media drives us to act like savages over something as benign as toilet paper for a virus that does not involve explosive bowel issues. The absurdity of this is beyond words and I for one do not believe this will ever be "the new normal" at least I pray that it isn't.
Images of elderly people looking at empty shelves with a grocery basket of only 1 or 2 items in it, as they cannot afford to stockpile and now are left without basic necessities because someone needed 20 packs of toilet paper. This to me CANNOT become "the new normal" but it is what we see every day in our newsfeeds and on social media.
Through all of this, there are some positive things coming to the light. Just as with any event that test the human spirit and resolve; unsung heroes are being recognized everywhere. This pandemic forced us to refocus our attention on things and people that actually matter and because of that the veil has been lifted from our eyes and now we see that heroes are everywhere. They didn't just appear; we just finally paid attention long enough to see them. The truck drivers, farmers, grocery store clerks, doctors, nurses, first responders and everyday people and businesses all stepping forward to answer the call. Working the front lines to ensure our lives though disrupted are not halted. Companies revamping production equipment to help produce life saving products that were in short supply or people putting their own well being at risk to help strangers. Every effort is being made by these people to help keep the world moving forward with little or no thought to their own safety. The reality is that these people didn't just appear; they have always been here but now instead of taking them for granted, we are forced to recognize how truly lucky we are to have them.
Instead of looking at this as time as the "new normal" let's consider this a "reset". It has been a "forced pause". A time for the entire globe to hit the reset button and live at a slower pace. How are we spending our time, money, and using our resources? Who and what really matters in our lives? How can we improve our current surroundings? What can we change? Let's start with ourselves. Now, after this "forced pause" and after the reset button has been pushed, Then what?! Let's take something from this, apart from what will have to be rebuilt. Beyond focusing on the negative impact that has been sustained. If there could be a "new normal" out of all of this; I would like it to be the fact that we are not lost to fear and chaos; social distancing and impersonal lives for the here on after but that great people are in every part of our lives and that we can look past our differences to stand united. We will get through this and I pray we remember what is really important and if we do; I believe we will come out stronger than we went in. God bless you all and I look forward to the day, we can shake hands and share a laugh or two over a beer. Keep safe!