Today just like yesterday, at some point in the day I heard a person repeat that we are in a new normal. Among the few neurons that I apparently have, according to one or another social network digital troll, the new normal must refer to the reality we find ourselves in thanks to the pandemic that has been impacting the planet since December last year.
Said in a simpler way, it is about the disruption of traditional behavior, the breakdown of routine and the prohibition to visit old common places, from a purely geographical perspective.
Seen from this perspective, the new normal is a novel complaint screech at the loss of privileges of a small percentage of the population. It is like when a drought affects the agricultural sector and hundreds of small farmers run out of products to sell, altering their lives in unimaginable ways to the point of bringing them to a new normal.
The same could be said of the coastal populations that are suddenly hit by a hurricane, one of those that are supposed to happen once every hundred years, but lately come in groups of three every twelve months. Those houses that are destroyed, submerged, homeless and unable to shelter and protect families. Those destroyed homes are an excellent example of what the new normal is for an important segment of the population.
The contrariness is that while these segments were pioneers in new realities, trying to survive their new imposed truth, in the metropolis the actors were always anchored in their past normality. If I were prompt to distrustful thoughts, a difficult thing given my lack of neurons, I would think that what is new in this normality is not the context that is now lived but who it is impacting.
They speak of new truths as if they were part of a multiverse of a world of superheroes who, when traveling through different dimensions, find themselves. There is also a certain level of resignation and even victim-hood when pointing out the culprit for the fleeting ills that are flooding us at the moment. The new truth is a catharsis, an infinite uprising, a revenge over time, a free pass to heaven, a modern indulgence.
The difficulty derives from that irritating questioning about which are the greatest obstacles that no one could see, those things so terribly unexpected that they fall outside the preventive scheme of any representative group of humanity.
Maybe I am wrong, but the problem is not the questions but the answers that are obtained. Hearing about the failures of telecommunications networks, about people who have no connection, thinking that there are those who need a credit of a few dollars to avoid being disconnected, that schools without the Internet are rewarded with a halt on the payment of their teachers’ salaries, that rural hospitals still do not have the necessary equipment to do their job.
Is the new normality of some the eternal normality of others? Everything seems to indicate yes. No wonder inclusion plans are useless as they do not offer a return on investment where it is impossible to implement them. National development plans do not deserve to be mentioned either, because if they were engendered under the wings of a previous administration, how can the new leaders show that they are working for the people?
In short, based on the stupidity that characterizes me, the new normality is a simple euphemism to describe the numerous existing gaps in our society, including digital ones. Not being able to leave home is the new normal; while seeing a hungry, illiterate girl without the possibility of going to school and in danger of being sexually exploited is a traditional normality somewhere else. Normality seems to be just an exercise in geography.
If we know this, it explains why we do not exchange normalities.