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Are you fully vaxxed yet?
Now that more than 30% of American adults have been fully vaccinated, life here slowly seems to be returning to some semblance of normal.
Restaurants are filling up, people are returning to sporting events, and airplane occupancy rates are growing month by month.
Consumer confidence is returning as well. According to a survey by Deloitte, consumer confidence rose by 6% in the first quarter of 2021.
So it stands to reason that virtually every news program is reporting on the “New Normal.”
But I’m not sure that’s what we’re experiencing. As our lives and our economy continue to open up, are we in the New Normal, the Now Normal or the No Normal?
Despite how similar those titles sound, the differences are profound.
For example, “New Normal” suggests that we will reach an altered stasis where things might be different than they were before COVID but that they will even out to a consistent condition. This assumes that our lives were “Normal” before, but the meaning is clear. New Normal means we will adapt to the changes and then settle back into our lives.
“Now Normal” is different. This title suggests that each phase we go through is “Normal” for the time we’re in and then will change as well. This means that we lived one life before COVID, a different life during the ravages of the disease, and a new existence after COVID. Also that our situations will continue to change once the pandemic ends. Still, “Now Normal” suggests that much like “The Dark Ages,” “The Renaissance,” “The Gay Nineties,” “The Roaring Twenties,” “The Me Decade,” and “The Information Age,” our contemporary time will be both measurable and discernable with simple and memorable descriptors.
Finally, there’s “No Normal.” This title suggests exactly what you think it does – that our simultaneous existences will be as different from previous life and one another’s as the myriad reflections in the innumerable shards of a broken mirror.
Just look back over the last year and compare your experience to your neighbors and others.
• Some people earned more money in 2020 than ever before. Some people saw their businesses dissolve into insolvency.
• Some people either didn’t get sick or had mild reactions to COVID. Others were deathly ill and lost friends and loved ones. (When I wrote this, COVID had taken the lives of over 3,280,000 people around the world and India and Brazil were suffering from record infections and deaths.)
• Some people thrived while they sheltered-in-place. But for others, all that alone time thrust them into the clutches of despair, desperation, and depression.
Our reaction, response, and restoration after COVID will be just as varied and personalized as our experience during the pandemic.
In other words, welcome to the “No Normal.”
Or, as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus put it, “The only constant in life is change.”
The same is true for you and your business.