I started writing this as soon as I hung up the telephone. The caller, whose name is unimportant, had called to tell me that I needed to stop. The caller was angry with me, actually they were angry with what I was writing about. The caller wanted me to stop.
The reason I started writing this as soon as I got off the phone is because the call was unsettling to me.
I am used to getting calls, and emails, from angry readers. It goes with blogging. If I don’t get at least one person angry than I am not forcing readers to reevaluate their worldview. But this call was a little different.
The reader did not disagree with what I had written. Instead, the reader was imploring me to look for the good around me, instead of the negativity. A common demand that I get on a regular basis. But in this case, the reader wanted me to stop writing about the looming economic crisis and the doom-and-gloom about shuttered businesses and rising unemployment.
I asked if the reader disagreed with my interpretation of what was going on around us. They said, “not at all”. So, I asked, why do you want me to stop?
The reader said they were tired of all the bad things caused by the pandemic. They were tired of reading about how the economy is doomed and how people will end up homeless. They are tired of reading and hearing about a dysfunctional government. The reader is tired about all the negativity surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I’ve had enough,” the reader exclaimed.
I told the reader that I understood and that they weren’t the only one. I am also stressed about what is going on. It is unprecedented in the grand scheme of things. It’s a new normal that not many of us are ready to accept.
But we have a choice. We can either adapt, or we can try to pretend that what is happening isn’t really happening at all. I choose to make the best of it. But that is my choice.
I told the reader that I understood where they were coming from, but they had to choose for themselves how they were going to deal with it. Everyone reading this should choose for themselves how to adjust to the new normal.
But we can’t pretend that everything will return to normal. It isn’t and pretending it will, will not make it happen.
We’ve crossed the Rubicon and it is time to accept it. There is no going back.
For me, pointing out the looming crisis is a coping mechanism in that it lets me intellectually prepare for what is to come. For others it may be pretending that nothing has changed. But it has, and with the change comes the responsibility to prepare for the new normal.