What if normal was never that great

Posted on 04/21/2020 in misc

Like everybody else, the pandemic is "top of mind" 24 x 7 for me. I'm writing to help myself not internalize all of it. You can find other posts in the series at https://odonnellweb.com/pelican/tag/coronavirus.html

The leadership of the country, and particularly the GOP leaders, are exhibiting a real lack of leadership and a lack of imagination in their hysterical declarations that opening up the economy is more important than human lives. Honestly, most Democratic leaders aren’t much better, they are taking a slower more cautious approach, but they too have a goal of returning to “normal” as soon as they can safely do so.

What if normal was never that great in the first place? Why is an economy based on selling crap to each other the only way anybody can conceive of organizing society? Maybe a new normal with less economic activity and a slower pace of life for all would be a great way to come out of the pandemic.

Here are a few things I think could be much better on the other side of the pandemic.

  1. Many more people working from home full time, which leads to less traffic, less pollution, and a higher quality of life for those that can work from home.
  2. Less reliance on external stimulation and entertainment. We are all learning that maybe we don’t need 40 channels of live sports to be happy, or at least entertained.
  3. More appreciation of the front line retail folks that we take for granted. This only matters if that appreciation is expressed in $$$$$$, healthcare, and job security.
  4. Putting the “Jones’” out to pasture, so we stop trying to keep up with them.
  5. Less reliance on cars. Does anybody really miss driving so much?
  6. More appreciation of the arts. Again, that appreciation needs to be shown with dollars and funding.
  7. An appreciation and willingness to fund a useful social safety net.
  8. An understanding that the things most likely to kill us aren’t brown people from somewhere else, and the realization that maybe we are funding the wrong defense projects.

I guess you can summarize all that as more appreciation for the simple pleasures of being alive, and more willingness to spend our tax money on making life better for all Americans.

Do I really think that will happen?

Not a chance. But a guy can dream.