This will end. But what kind of ‘normality’ do we want back?

If you are a bird, an ozone layer or a panda in Hong Kong, this is a good time for you.  Not for the rest of us, especially those who spend their lives negotiating the river rapids of anxiety and depression.

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In a few short weeks, the engines of capitalism have been brought to a shuddering halt and countries that spend billions on defence find themselves with their useless guns and fighter jets, defenceless against this invisible enemy.

Some of us here on the Bipolar Writer spend our lives in a form of lockdown – although probably a less extreme form than we are now experiencing.  At the same time, mental illness – for those that have never had to think about such things –  is becoming if not an issue at least a consideration, a bit like a threatening sea lapping around the good maintenance of a daily schedule.

Our helpful newspapers are full of suggestions about how to be, how to think and what to do during this period, bombarding us with articles on everything from recipes to try, cocktails to mix, books to read, exercise to take,  to how to maintain relationships over Zoom.   I’ve even seen one piece advising those working from home how they should dress appropriately for a zoom meeting!  Well I suppose it is important to someone somewhere that a white shirt is laundered and ironed, despite the gruesome toll of rampaging disease beyond our windows.

But beyond taking normal precautions to keep in good health and good spirits, what can we do? I can only reiterate what Her Majesty the Queen said a couple of days ago on national TV – echoing the wartime sentiments of Vera Lynn’s songs –  that we will be with our friends and families again.  We will meet again.  This will end.

We all long for a return to ‘normality’.  Yet what kind of normality do we want, or can we afford to go back to?  It may be time to have the courage to imagine something new for ourselves.

A normality in which so many people suffer from poverty, sickness and despair is not one to be treasured or returned to.

Author Arundhati Roy writes in the UK Financial Times (4th April 2020):

“Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew.  This one is no different.  It is a portal, a gateway, between one world and the next.

We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies.  Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world.  And ready to fight for it.”

 

 

10 Replies to “This will end. But what kind of ‘normality’ do we want back?”

  1. Thank you for this post. Despite the horrific losses of this pandemic, we have an opportunity as a society to learn and grow. May we use this time to reflect, and to identify what truly matters. May we find empathy for our fellow human beings–regardless of circumstance–and take the steps toward a more inclusive, loving, and just world.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Nikki's Blogging Corner and commented:
    I will provide a blog or two by tomorrow. In the meantime, here is a good read:

    Blog by VOLATILEMUSE; shared by J.E. Skye (TheBipolarWriter). Both of whom are really writers discussing mental health & bipolar disorder. Check them out, give a like to their blogs & share to those who might also need to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As an intuitive empath I have felt this shift for months even before it occurred and now while we are all being called to shed, rejuvenate and rebirth into a new way of life I miss human interaction more than ever. I’m a big hugger and I miss hugging most of all.
    This time has also been so acutely felt by those with underlying conditions in mental health like my partner who had to check himself into a mental health facility to adjust his medications.
    I am witnessing on a deep level how people are handling our new normal. Most are abundantly loving and kind, showing more compassion to each other for what we are going through. However, for me living with my partner’s family our current situation has them placing blaming and casting me out of their home. It’s quite despicable in light of what’s going on. The last part of your post rings true in that sense. We are being called to change. It’s hardest for those that refuse to see the lesson in all of this and are just paralyzed by the fear.
    I for one remaining the unconditionally loving and empathetic person I am. Everything happens for a reason. It’s my time to step into a much more genuinely loving environment. Thank you for this post. I needed to read it more than can be expressed🙏❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your lovely words. I’m glad that you have found consolation in what I wrote just as I have found consolation. In your words. And you are right most People are finding their courage and humanity in this. A few not. Best of luck and stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

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