Even those least affected by COVID-19 and the ripple effect of its presence will be forever changed. It is understandable to desire a return to “normal.” It is human to look back on the past with a sense of clouded nostalgia, remembering things as we want to remember them, not as they actually were. But before we jump into a return to the way things were, we should take a moment to imagine the way things could be.
I’m beginning to wonder if one of the reasons some people are struggling and insisting on a return to “normal” is because they didn’t allow themselves the space to grieve the loss of normal before accepting that loss and moving on to see it as a way to grow. We need to allow ourselves to grieve that loss. We need to give people the grace and space to grieve the things that have disappeared, some of them permanently. And then we need to start looking for the places where we see potential for a better future moving forward.