OP-ED: The New Normal and Its Effects

OP-ED: The New Normal and Its Effects

Cole Duffett

As the months of lockdown because of COVID-19 drone on and on throughout 2020, most people I know and across the country are sadly becoming accustomed to its effects. Whether it is small things like keeping masks in your car at heavy supply or large scale effects like being forced to work from home constantly. Whatever it is for anyone at any age, the virus and its effects have created a new, unprecedented form of society that has no light at the end of the tunnel, and its lengthy duration gave it the “new normal” name.

As cases continue to climb in many states, depending on if they added more restrictions over time or lifted restrictions like Florida, peoples’ lives are continually adapting to the mishandling of the very real virus. States, like ours here in Massachusetts, have added even more restrictions like the new curfew advisory at 10 P.M. under the order of Governor Charlie Baker. However, no matter what state in which you reside, most people I know or have read from off of social media have been negatively affected by COVID-19 and the lockdowns since March. Whether it is students struggling to keep up with work online, or the masses of adults being laid off even.

As the stress of the election and the effects of results begin to set in as 2020 comes to a hopeful close, so many people on all sides of the handling of COVID-19 are looking for any sort of answer or next move. For example, a look into the light at the end of the tunnel is getting more apparent as Pfizer, an international pharmaceutical company, comes out recently saying a vaccine is 90% completed and human trials have all been successful. Because of how

President Trump had handled the spread of the virus, all I can hope is that the distribution of the vaccine before Biden’s assumed inauguration is not made political. Maybe this news of a potential vaccine will push people to follow COVID-19 guidelines more than usual in hopes of sticking it out until early 2021.

Over these past eight dreadful months, I have seen people from both sides on how COVID-19 should have been handled not just on social media and television, but in Tewksbury alone. Whether it be the ones who believe the mask mandates and guidelines are a government control scheme or even the ones who follow the state guidelines religiously, I believe that each person is on their side because of how the virus has affected them personally. The lockdowns closing or suspending small businesses for a time ruining one’s livelihood is one possible reason as to why some believe the “new normal” should have never become normal. However, many families have been affected by the virus on a personal level, infecting close ones which leads to those listening to guidelines heavily

In the end, I believe that the lockdowns and guidelines did save millions of lives even past the 2 million we have already lost to COVID-19. However, whether the lockdowns and their extremity in some states were worth it is debatable to me still with millions more of Americans losing their jobs or businesses and struggling to stay on their feet. No matter what you believe though, every single citizen of the USA can get behind the fact that this “new normal” needs to become anything but normal as we look towards 2021.