Can we define a ‘back to normal’ world?

| April 8, 2021

Here’s hoping that everyone had a Happy Easter and enjoyed, perhaps, more of a family get together than last year. Typically, I review the papers from the year before to make sure we are not missing a community event or happening that we should be aware of. As I flipped through the pages of the April 15, 2020 issue, I did a quick scan of my column from that paper.

At that point, the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic had not yet taken hold – as even the OHSAA was talking about “if school were to resume,” then spring sports would also resume possibly as early as May with tournaments going into June. A few weeks later last year, of course, none of this would happen as we saw the global impact of the pandemic.

At that point on the calendar, we still did not know the impact that the virus would have on our lives, jobs, families, community and loved ones. And it is possible that in some ways, we still do not have complete answers to these questions. But we are making great strides with continued vaccinations. This is positive as mutated strains of the virus seem to be emerging in the U.S. As we all know with this virus, each day, week and month brings forth more information that is helpful to prevent the spread and reduce the loss of life.

When you read this a new NCAA men’s basketball champion will have been crowned – either Baylor or Gonzaga. And for those that stayed up “late” on Saturday night and witnessed the incredible game winning shot as time expired by Gonzaga, you almost feel that the basketball gods are with the “Zags” this time around. Coach Mark Few has built an incredible program in Spokane, but Baylor is a tough team that cannot and should not be taken lightly. Hopefully, it was a good game!

The women’s champion is Stanford, who won in a thriller over Arizona – the team that knocked off perennial favorite UConn to make the championship game.

Is there a clear answer for the headline of this week’s column? Probably not one we can all agree on. Does it mean not wearing face masks? Does it mean less social distancing? Can schools get “back to normal?” Can all of us get “back to normal?” Will we return to more shopping in person versus shopping online? Can we make a gradual shift “back to normal?”

Then, is the larger question really, “What is back to normal?” It has now been more than a year of living with face masks, six-foot social distancing, carryout dining (although dining “in” has shifted into high gear) and at times, confusion on where things stand. We all know that at some point, this will sort itself out and we will reflect on the impact it had on our lives and our loved ones. The things we missed will probably be forgotten about as we move toward a “new normal.” I think what that looks like remains to be seen. Meanwhile, let’s enjoy the warm weather!

Category: Mark's Musings

About the Author ()

I live with my beautiful wife Nancy on a small farm just outside Coshocton. We have been married for thirty two years and have two grown children, Jessica and Jacob. Jessica is married to Aaron Mencer and they are employed with Coshocton City Schools. Jacob is a sophomore at Kent State University. I graduated from River View High School, have a Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina Wesleyan University and am actively involved with the Roscoe United Methodist Church, serve on several local committees and am a member of the Coshocton Kiwanis Club, having served as Past-President. I love reading, especially military thrillers, the Civil War and history in general. My goal is to write a novel. My wife and I are also AdvoCare distributors and encourage anyone wanting to lose weight, gain energy and better health to explore AdvoCare at our website; I love the media field, innovative technology and have worked in newspapers for over 30 years – in fact, my first job was delivering newspapers. The Beacon is a dream made possible by the support of this community and a great team. I hope to continue serving Coshocton County for many years.

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