We have seen a lot of changes over the last couple of months. We have watched the coronavirus, effectively, shut down most of the world and bring the country’s economies to a screeching halt. Getting back to normal seems like something that may be in a galaxy far, far away. Slowly, we are watching our own country crawl out of the darkness. It will be a long road with a lot of changes that are going to be different than what most of us are used to. We are left asking, how do we get back to normal after Covid-19.
For the last five months we have watched as stores and businesses were shuttered. The stores that were left open oftentimes had reduced hours and limitations on the amount of people that can be allowed inside. We have been told to wash our hands multiple times a day, use hand sanitizer, and wear gloves. Many people have lost their jobs and have spent the better part of the last five months simply trying to get unemployment set up.
As we are moving into a new phase of life and the country is starting to open, we are still seeing many of the same strictures. Now we are seeing that face masks and gloves are becoming societal norms. Many of us are not happy with these changes, it feels like something is being taken away from us. Using logic like, we have spent four to five weeks running around without masks and gloves and now we are being told they are required. Social distancing is still in effect. We are being told that these standards are to keep us safe in the times that are to come.
It sometimes feels like the government is telling us what to do. Many of us are pushing back and we are seeing our own president say one thing and then doing something different. The problem stems from the way we are looking at it. We see it as an imposition to our freedoms and liberties, the truth is the steps we are being asked to take are less for our wellbeing and more for the wellbeing of others. That is a concept that can often be alien to people, and it is not how we have been programmed to operate in our worlds.
When you wear a mask, you are limiting the number of germs you are spreading into the environment. In turn, so does it happen for others. It is more indirectly protecting you as it is protecting others. As more businesses and retail stores start to open, we will start congregating in places again and the virus will still be spreading. It needs to be thought of as helping others to help yourself. Yes, it is hard to constantly think about putting on a mask to go into a store, to wear gloves to touch things, and to keep a six-foot distance between people. This is not about losing your freedom; it is about ensuring the health of you and others.
Sure, there are even some more oddities we must contend with, absentee voting for example. However, if you vote regularly, you may already be familiar with absentee voting. I did it through college and even when I was living in other states for short periods of time. Granted there are complications that can come from absentee voting. If you miss the deadline, you are not able to vote. They could get lost in the mail and there is also more of a chance for voter fraud. Look at the alternatives. Showing up at polling locations, we know there are usually hundreds of people at any given time. You stand in line to register to vote that day and then stand in line again to cast your vote. You are in much closer proximities to people that you would be in many other places. This is a perfect place to be able to share a common cold, flu, or even coronavirus.
We must put our misgivings about wearing masks/gloves aside to think about those that our choices may affect. The changes are small and barely inconvenience our liberties. We only need to tolerate them for a short time. If they are not followed, we could see more deaths and even more devastation to our already fragile economy. The argument of opening too soon is moot, at this point. It will happen but the spread of the virus can still be minimized. It only takes our help and a little bit of discomfort to make sure that others are kept safe. This is not too much to ask us each to do our part.