Published In The Great North Arrow, August 2020: The Coronavirus Revolution

- jim Young 20200719

“You say you want a revolution. 
Well, you know we all want to change the world.
You tell me that it's evolution.
Well, you know we all want to change the world.
You say you got a real solution. 
Well, you know we'd all love to see the plan.
You ask me for a contribution.
Well, you know, we're doing what we can.”
                        - Lennon/McCartney

I think we have all pretty much adjusted to the idea that we will not be going back to “normal” but that a “new normal” awaits us once we have emerged through all stages required to reopen our communities following the coronavirus pandemic.

What has many people anxious is not knowing what that “new normal” will be.

Will face-masks in public become a permanent practice? Will the widespread use of hand-sanitizers that had been primarily reserved for hospitals and medical facilities become commonplace? Will social distancing remain a way of life and how will that affect us? Can we expect to see line ups everywhere we go become the norm? Will one way aisles remain in grocery stores and will it spill into the streets? Perhaps sidewalks will become one way as well and everyone must walk facing traffic even where sidewalks exist. Will screenings and testings become standard to gain entrance to, well - just about everything? Will restaurants be required to reduce their seating capacity? Will sports stadiums remove rows of seats or will fans be required to wear full face shields? Or both? Will air travel now be required to give its flyers more legroom and elbowroom? What will be the financial impact of all this to the consumer? Will a handshake to introduce yourself or to seal a deal become a thing of the past? Will hugging be reserved for close family members only? Will Garage Sales become outlawed as a potential hotspot for viral infection through close social interaction and the exchange of used goods and cash? Will we become more reclusive and hasn’t the world been heading that way anyway?

I am not going to discuss the merits and the follies of these scenarios at this time as some may not come to fruition anyway.

Like it or not, the fact remains that we are all going to be affected by the changes that are coming, so we might as well embrace them whatever they may be.

Change is nothing new. It’s inevitable. Pearl S. Buck suggests “You can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come in contact with a new idea.” 

2020 will be the year that puts this notion to the test.

How old you will feel in the coming months will depend on your ability and willingness to adapt. 

We have all experienced change in the past. Lots of change.

The difference is that most often change is gradual and we sometimes don’t even notice it happening. People tend to find change less painful and more acceptable that way. Today we are being challenged with a sudden radical change. And that’s the definition of a revolution. Yes, we are in the middle of the Coronavirus Revolution.

But take a moment to look back and reflect upon some of the changes to our world that have happened in our lifetime.

We have gone from telephones that were attached to the wall and required shared use of the party line, to private mobile phones with texting, GPS and photo capabilities. No longer does a family member have to wait their turn to use the household phone that was often located in a high traffic area of the house. They each have their own phone that can be taken to the privacy of their own room.

When we were young, children knew it was time to come home when the streetlights came on. Today parents will text their children on their cell phones.

We have seen the television evolve from large consoles that were the centerpiece of the living room, and could receive only one station in black and white, to handheld devices that will play the movie or TV program of choice on demand whether you are at home or on the go.

Housewives that were most often stay-at-home moms are now career women juggling home and work responsibilities.

The suit and tie that were once the uniform of the businessman has been replaced with golf shirts and casual pants.

Smoking in private and in public was a common and acceptable practice. One didn’t ask permission to light up in a friend’s home, they would simply ask for an ashtray, assuming it was permissible.

Ashtrays were readily available on buses, restaurants, funeral homes and even doctor’s offices.

While many vehicles may still have cigarette lighter sockets (most often used now for charging your phone or powering a digital music player) few, if any, will actually come with a cigarette lighter or an ashtray. 

The family dinner has been replaced with takeout foods and microwave meals.

Yes we often long for the “days of old” and simpler times with fondness, but we didn’t resist the changes as they occurred. We barely even noticed they were taking place. We just adjusted.

We adjusted, just as we will eventually adjust to the changes that await us at the end of the Coronavirus Revolution. 

You don’t have to be Louis Riel or Che Guevera to participate in this new revolution. You don’t need to go on any hunger strikes like Mahatma Gandhi once did.

All you have to do is sit back and hold on tight.

We will all be faced with the same changes and we will all be challenged to make appropriate adjustments. How we react to the coming changes is up to each of us to decide.

Some of these changes will be an improvement on our lifestyles and some will not. In time they will all become accepted practices.

Will you meet this change with resistance or will you welcome it with open arms? Will it be a painful or painless process for you? 

Prepare yourself with an open mind and a sincere willingness to accept these changes. Your attitude can make it painless.

You’ve got this.

- 30 -


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