“Sorry dogs, no friends today. THEY DON’T TAKE CASH!! I really, really want it, but I don’t need it. We don’t want to get anyone sick, but someday we can. Elbow bump. You can’t share your toys, I’m sorry. Go wash your hands. Essential worker. We’re all in this together. Social distance. We’re all in these masks together.”
“SOCIAL DISTANCE!! How long did it take you to get in here? You can’t see your friends right now. You don’t know where they have been. Social distancing. Stand 6 feet apart! New normal. I can’t visit. Social distance. Shelter-in-place. I can’t leave anyways. Social distancing. Do you have your mask on? We’re all in this together. COVID-19. QUARANTINE!”
“I won’t miss Coronavirus commercials!”
Confusing? Parents were certainly confused in trying to teach social distance to children who shouldn’t know the meaning of the word distance yet. Society didn’t even know the term when 2020 began. Now, instead of socializing, children are told “You can’t share your toys, I’m sorry.” “We don’t want to get anyone sick, but someday we can.”
Perplexed children now hear “You can’t see your friends right now. You don’t know where they have been.” Or the increased, “Go wash your hands!” heard throughout our homes now. All we can do as parents is try and convince them that it is only temporary, and not a new normal. The final words often spoken to children before entering an establishment now are “Do you have your mask on?” Sad.
Words: We’re All in This Together
Being told we are all in this together has some feeling it means we are all in these masks together only, as all else seems so politically divided. We pass each other in stores, and gone are the days of the friendly hello. Instead people are asking, “How long did it take you to get in here?” Or bellowing, “They don’t take cash!”
And as one part of society possesses the title of essential worker, many do not. “Stand 6 feet apart” are words heard eerily chanted on P.A. systems as shoppers scurry, has also loudly supplanted the more joyous sounds of our beaches, and more. No more shaking hands. Instead, we are learning the elbow bump replacement, in rapid fashion. Gone might be the handshake forever.
So quick, were we, in getting good at new social distancing routines. When walking our pets, we tell them now, “Sorry dogs, no friends today.” Owners of animals keeping a distance that was not there before; to the bewilderment of their pets, one can assume. There is now an almost implied: “I can’t visit,” whenever talking to family and friends, remotely.
The Same Proverbial Boat
No excuses are needed not to visit anymore; everybody is in the same proverbial boat. Millions of people accepted a shelter-in-place, “I can’t leave anyways,” attitude, but even such adherence has its limits. One can only take their doors off and wash hinges so many times. Now, those same people are saying, “I won’t miss Coronavirus commercials!”
Words like quarantine and COVID-19 will forever draw a new ire. Desperate for things to return to normal, 50 states will soon face 50 separate challenges in doing so. Far worse trials have been endured in catching up to this new normal than changes in how we speak. Hearts break across our land for the lives that have been lost, and livelihoods destroyed. This pandemic was brought to us, and we are adjusting. Written above are quoted words which those below hope to NEVER have to use again – very, very soon.
In order of appearance: Amy N., Brenda M., Marsha A., Becky A., Janice R., me, Mary F., Cheryl, Becky A., Ruud, Mary F., Leanna S., Mary F., Karl D., Gloria B., me, Sarah C., Mary F., Michelle H., Ashlyn H., Alicia N., Ruud, Joyce H., Brendon S., Sly-Bry, and Leanna S.
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Tom Acheson is a writer for NRN. He was raised in Oregon and is a passionate Miami Dolphins fan. Acheson loves to make people think.