There's starting to be some discussion in the media about the New Normal: wearing face masks in public, maintaining social distancing when we're in a group setting. You won't recognize that term; it means staying 6 feet apart from every other person, to limit your exposure to other people's potentially viral airborne droplets. A lot of people aren't doing those things now. I can only imagine they'll continue not doing them as more and more businesses reopen.
I am not enthused about the New Normal. I'm uncomfortable with the thought of going back to work, of being in a building with two hundred other people with one pair of bathrooms per floor, of working in the productivity-killing open-plan office where a dozen of us sit breathing on each other's necks without even cardboard cubicle partitions. I don't really even want to go outside. My life has shrunk to the size of the kitchen, the living room, my bedroom, and my weekly trips to the grocery store. It isn't really a bad life for an introvert.
It's not a good life for the kids, though. Sebastian can't go on a date, Atanasia can't go to a concert, Indiana can't surround herself with the people she needs to give her days energy. The problem is, there's no vaccine, the virus is still unpredictably lethal, and I honestly don't think people are going to be responsible enough to keep new outbreaks from spreading. The CDC says we're maybe a year and a half from a vaccine, which is fine for me, working at home, but Indiana can't spend the rest of high school taking classes by computer, and Atanasia can't get the instruction she needs, or the input of her peers, or the chance to participate in exhibits if she's not actually AT art school. A whole generation of children ---- MY children's generation ---- are going to be affected for the rest of their lives by the choices we've collectively made, and the ones we next make. How much will be lost?
P.S. I didn't write you on my birthday, although I thought about you. About the story you always called me to tell, that you had steak for lunch and then went to the hospital, and that I was exactly what you'd wanted: a 6-1/2 pound girl with black hair and periwinkle eyes. I'm glad we had that time, however long it was, when we were perfect for each other. I know it doesn't last, the little while where you can be everything your children need. No matter how hard you try.