Are we living in the new normal?

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Photo Credit: Photo via Pikist under the Creative Commons License

Example of how to properly wear your facemask, over the nose!

By: Emily Spillar, Editor In Chief

It has been six months since the beginning of the COVID-19 precautions. It seems like a whole lifetime ago we were able to be close together and not have to wear a mask. Since this has started the reoccurring question has been, will this be the new normal?

Since COVID-19 started, we have witnessed changes that we never thought we would see. Including face masks, socially distancing from our family, friends, etc., and having to stay home. These new precautions to keep ourselves and others safe have changed all of our lives.  It seems like it’s been a long time since we’ve had a sense of “normalcy” in our lives. Our new normal seems to be a world of face masks, social distancing, and staying home.

Wearing a mask vs. Not wearing one

In a poll done on Twitter, the question asked “What do you feel is the new normal? Wearing a face mask or not wearing a mask?” 85.7% of the polltakers chose wearing a mask, while the other 14.3% chose not wearing one. This is interesting to see what people think about the facemasks. It seems like these masks are starting to become a common routine in everyone’s lives. A lot of people don’t like to wear the masks, and they make it seem like it is imposing on their freedom.

Wearing a facemask out publicly has been mandated in New Jersey since Governor Murphy put out an order on April 8, 2020. Many were wearing these masks long before the order, but this made sure that others would wear a mask out in public too. It has been five months since this order came out and now it seem like normal.

Distance learning vs. In person schooling

Since COVID-19 started, schools around the world have changed to distance learning. In this new school year, some schools have made the decision to go back to in person schooling. Others decided to stick to distance learning until it is safe to go back. In a poll done on Twitter, the question asked, “What do you feel is the new normal? Going to school or distance learning?” 75% of polltakers chose distance learning, while the other 25% chose going to school in person. It does seem to feel like we will never be able to go back to school and when we do, it will not be how it was when we left in March.

Schools that have reopened at the start of the 2020-2021 school year have had to abide by all of the new precautions due to COVID-19. Since reopening a lot of schools have been faced with cases spiking. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association (AAP), over the past four weeks, there has been a 90% hike in known COVID-19 cases among children in the U.S. NBC reports “More than 500,000 children in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported Tuesday, and the rate of new cases among kids continues to rise.” Due to this, they may have to close again. Many teachers and students don’t feel safe in returning back to school when they’re finally allowed to. Distance learning seems like it might be the new normal.

Social distancing vs. Being close together

Being in a crowd has been something that we haven’t seen since before COVID-19 hit America. Things like concerts, parties, etc., have been outcasted due to the social distancing precautions. In a poll done on Twitter, the question asked, “What do you feel is the new normal? Social distancing or being close together?” 80% of polltakers chose social distancing, while the other 20% chose being close together. Since COVID-19 is a rapidly spreading disease, many do not want to get close to others until we are out of the woods. However, it seems like it will be a long time until this will happen, so social distancing might be going on longer than any of us would hope.

It makes you start to think as fall is upon us, will we be celebrating holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah differently this year? Will Black Friday shopping still happen? New York City recently decided that the iconic New Year’s Eve Ball Drop will be virtual this year.

With all of these aspects and opinions in place, it makes it seem like what we are going through will be the new normal. It’s been a long time since we had a sense of “normalcy” and it feels like it will be a long time until we go back to that, if we ever really do. If this does become the new normal, remember that some changes could be for the better.

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