There is hardly anything people can agree about when it comes to the pandemic. Is it over, or are we experiencing the 4th wave? (News flash: it isn’t over.) Should you get your vaccine or remain unvaccinated because… well, I honestly don’t know why you wouldn’t get vaccinated. But if there is one thing many people can agree on, it’s not giving up the comforts pandemic life has highlighted.
Yes, stretchy pants, oversized sweaters, and masking when you feel unwell are all things that are here to stay. Do you know what else the pandemic has taught us? We actually really enjoy time outdoors. Ahh, the wonders of vitamin D and fresh (socially distanced) air. Plus, avoiding jamming into our doctor’s office with a dozen sick patients when instead we can just hop on a telehealth visit. You know, I think I might be cautiously optimistic about this new normal.
Comfy Clothes And Avoiding Colds–Hell Yes!
Working from home has gotten many of us into the habit of dressing more casually and comfortably. As long as your life isn’t a Folgers commercial, there’s literally no risk in dressing down while you’re working from home.
Even when you do need to appear on video, it’s easy enough to dress business on the top party on the bottom. And by party, I mean stretchy leggings or those fuzzy PJ pants that look ridiculous but feel like a hug. It’s a win-win. You feel more relaxed and comfortable and don’t have to spend money on clothing you’d never wear outside the office. And your employer reaps the benefits of you being more focused and productive because of said comfort.
And speaking of office life: Don’t you dare bring Covid, a cold, or any other nasty run-of-the-mill virus in with you. Even after the pandemic is over, a nationwide survey conducted by the Washington Post-Schar School found that “Two-thirds of Americans will continue to mask up when they’re feeling unwell.”
Really? I’m thrilled, elated even! There wasn’t much of a silver lining to 2020 as a whole, but I have to say, as a parent with school-aged children, I really loved a year free of colds. No ear infections, no upper respiratory infections, no bubble gum flavored antibiotics that would inspire full-on meltdowns.
Wearing a mask is a simple ask. I mean, I don’t really like winter hats. They always fuck up my hair, and I NEVER look cute in them. But I wear them because I live in a place where it snows, and it just makes sense. We live in a world where there are a lot of people carrying a lot of germs and viruses. Whether you’re carrying the common cold or Covid, this is an instance where sharing isn’t caring. Wearing a mask in a pandemic, or when you’re sick, just makes sense.
This Is The New Normal
For those of you who think masking, remote work, and basically the pandemic as a whole are just all part of a left-leaning liberal conspiracy, take a look at this stat. The same survey mentioned before found that more than half of people choosing to wear masks, even after the pandemic is over, identify themselves as Republicans.
Common sense and courtesy for others aren’t backed by a single political party or ideology. It’s called having humanity. Around 62% of Americans feel like life hasn’t gone back to normal, and that it won’t for a while yet. Laura Howard, who lives in New York, is part of that group who feels this way. Laura said she thinks people who value their own freedom more than protecting others have a kind of arrogance that is “one of the problems of the human species.” I feel you, Laura.
When society experiences major events we find ways to adapt and change whether we like it or not. This past year and a half changed everything about life as we knew it. And really, some of those changes were okay. We don’t need to be in a hurry to get back to our regularly scheduled program.
Let’s stop waiting for when things ‘get back to normal‘ and create a new normal. We leave behind toxic beliefs and attitudes and bring comfort vibes and masking forward with us (when we’re sick). In doing so, we protect ourselves but we also protect our communities and those who are most at risk.
Plus, do you remember what it’s like to try and fall asleep when you’re congested? Ugh, it is the absolute worst. All you can think about is how much easier it was to sleep and breathe when you didn’t have a cold. Of course, if you do catch a cold, wouldn’t you prefer to wait it out in the comfort of your own home working remotely? For better or worse, times are changing. You can fight it, or you can jam out to the new normal with the rest of us. I mean, working remotely, no colds, and comfy clothes–what’s there not to love?
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