Publisher’s Letter: The New Normal

By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

When we have walked through the fire of these unprecedented times, what will drive us going forward?

Will this pandemic with its many challenges make us aware of things we never thought of before? Perhaps we will look around the world at advanced cultures whose citizens can count on healthcare coverage, independent of work, when at their time of greatest need, often, they are too ill to work and want that security for ourselves.

Now that we know just how fragile life can be and how easily we can be well one moment and struggling to stay alive the next, will we personally identify what constitutes true quality of life? Will we demand ourselves ways to a decent standard of living while scaling back the hours worked in a single week?

It may take time to restart the economy. And at least for a while, that may drive down aspirations, as we struggle to get back on our feet and catch up on our bills. But post-pandemic, once we establish a routine, how will we have changed as a people? How will we have changed as a nation? How will we have changed in our local communities?

When currently, we hear projected high numbers of fatalities due to COVID-19, will such a massive loss of life affect us even after a much-needed vaccine is developed? And who among our young people will now pursue a medical career so that working in the healing professions creates meaning and purpose in their lives?

Living through these days, going forward, it’s safe to say that our world will never be the same. We may know someone who lost someone and we may have lost someone ourselves. How will this change us? Will we look at our loved ones with a new appreciation? Will we go out of our way for our neighbors? And if we witness ourselves at our best during the demands of this crisis, will we be determined to make that glimpse of our better selves “the new normal?”

After we emerge from this crisis, how will the American Dream have changed? And as importantly, how would you like it to change?

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Blaine Howerton

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