Bernadette K. Raspante
“We walk by faith and not by sight.” This weekend, my whole state is about to “open up” after months and months of Covid restrictions. I am lucky to have been vaccinated early due to my job, but I’m still a little nervous about how this is going to go.
I’m nervous, probably because it is going to involve a big amount of trust in people I don’t know, and this last year has had us questioning our social behaviors and interactions. Remember about two or three months into the pandemic, there were a lot of posts and articles about not going back to the normal we knew. There was energy about changing that normal because we learned so much about what wasn’t working - in the workplace, in the balance of work life and home life, in our social settings, in our law enforcement, in our government. When we were forced to collectively step away from everything and look at it, there was a lot that didn’t work.
But how much of those things or systems are really going to change now that we are “ready to get back out there?” Will we remember that in April of last year we realized our workdays could be more productive if we let some people work from home? Will we remember that small communities grew out of necessity as neighbors helped those they maybe had never spoken to before?
Don’t get me wrong! I am ready to have this scary global disaster behind us too! But, it isn’t over for so many people still and here we are making brunch plans because we can.
We, as a people, as a country, are collectively tired. We have decision-fatigue and pandemic brain, and of course that bottomless mimosa date with our girlfriends sounds like the perfect thing we need after this crazy year and a half.
I want to trust my neighbors in big ways, I want to have small talk in stores and restaurants again, but I’m nervous. Not nervous that they are going to get me sick (though that should still be a concern for us all too) but nervous that we are so ready to dive back into the world that we are going to forget that at the beginning of this, we wanted some things to change.
I want to have faith that “normal” will be better for everyone. I am trying to have faith that we will walk with grace and interact in ways that uphold the dignity of those that are walking alongside us. I want to believe that as a human family, we will remember the things that are unjust for many and work to make sure that they are not part of this new normal.