I have previously written and I know it to be true that we will return to normal at some point in time. That point seems elusive right now and I feel like a runner approaching the finish line of a marathon only to learn that they have added an indefinite number of miles to the race. We are all fatigued and doing the best that we can. But I am tired.
What I hope and what I imagine in the future is that whatever normal will be, we will not soon forget what that feels like. The mundane nature of our lives Before Covid (BC) seems dreamy right now. Not just the special times, like travel and gathering for parties, but the ordinary part of life we all took for granted. Walking in a store and shopping for the items that we need without any planning or forethought. Bumping into a friend downtown and stopping for a chat. Having guests in our home. It all seems so distant and I am nostalgic for those simple times.
I miss having clients in our office. Greeting them with a hug or a handshake and offering them a delicious cup of coffee. I am incredibly grateful for the technology that we have adopted and learned to use to communicate and share ideas; these clearly are game changers. But there has been talk that this may be the new normal. Since we can use technology to our advantage for meetings and tele medicine we may not have to go back to face-to-face meetings. I don’t believe this to be true. Further, I think it would be a mistake.
Technology is a tool that can enhance our ability to connect but it cannot replace the connection of gathering person to person. I do not have the data to support my belief (but I am sure that it is available) that in person connections are vastly superior to virtual ones for the ability to communicate and express ideas. The invention of the telephone and adoption of the device was met with critics at the turn of the previous century. I am certain that the rapid adoption had an adverse impact on the stationery and letter writing industry but did not quite extinguish it. Anecdotally, the first envelope that I reach for in the mail is the one with a handwritten address.
I was convinced that when text messaging first came out, it was the worst idea ever, and yet I text everyday with any number of people. When these inventions were introduced, they did not replace person to person contact but enhanced them and made it easier for those situations to occur. I believe that Zoom, Facetime, and other virtual tools will be added to the arsenal of tools to enhance our ability to connect but will never replace the personal contact that I, for one, desperately miss. It turns out that I am a people person. It wasn’t really until I was unable to express that due to the global pandemic that I came to that realization.
I miss seeing your smiling faces and look forward to the time when we can safely meet again. I promise to never take it for granted and to always have a fresh cup of coffee ready for you.
I long for the humdrum nature of an ordinary day; I promise to never take them for granted once they return.