What Will The “New Normal” Even Look Like?


It’s 2021 (finally!) and we are almost at the year mark of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. That’s almost an entire year of social distancing, masks, staying home, and skipping vacations. When I think back to last March, it’s cute that we thought it would be a few weeks before we would be back to “normal,” and here we are 10 months later, with 400,000 Americans dead so far.

Thinking about all this makes me wonder what “normal” will even look like in the future.


Honestly, staying home and not socializing hasn’t been that hard for me as an introvert who generally prefers staying home even in healthy times. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss seeing my close friends for our monthly dinners or meeting people for group runs on occasion.

I know that there are people who are comfortable with doing some of the things I avoid at the moment, but for me, it’s hard to imagine that the following will ever feel normal or natural again.

  • Going to a restaurant and dining in rather than getting carryout
  • Seeing a movie in a crowded theater
  • Indoor play areas (though this winter I really miss going to them)
  • Casual indoor get-togethers with friends
  • Crowded races (like the Flying Pig Marathon)
  • In-person shopping (I am a huge fan of curbside pickup!)

It’ll be interesting to see how we view “normal” once we come out on the other side of this pandemic. For example, will school snow days be a thing, or will schools just do virtual learning on snow days? Similarly, if my kid has a cold, will I have the option to keep her home to do virtual learning rather than spreading her germs around to her classmates? Will working from home be a more permanent fixture in the future? Will stores offer curbside pickup indefinitely? (Please, please, please let that be the case!)

What do you think “normal” will look like after the pandemic?