Let’s Not Return to Normal
601 Carolina Aveunue
Washington, NC 27898
Friday, 18 April, 2020
I’m not looking forward to a “return to normal” once restrictions begin to ease and we are finally allowed to resume our pre-pandemic activities.
Having conformed and paid the price that was required of us so that we could minimize the spread and impact of this disease, I’m going to insist on a better, wiser me. If we all take a moment to reflect on what we’ve sacrificed and what we’ve learned, I believe we can skip right past normal and find ourselves in a calmer, more cohesive and compassionate community.
Reading recent headlines that seem to point to the day when restrictions begin to ease, I asked myself what it was about my pre-Corona life that I would resume immediately. I realized that simply turning my old life back on is not enough. Maybe I can learn from this.
Time is our most precious commodity, and it’s not a renewable resource. We went into lockdown and suddenly, I, like many of you, was given time in greater measure.
Time to think about what’s important. Time to find out how resourceful I could be in situations where I didn’t have access to certain things. Time to understand where I might have been wasting my time back when things were normal.
I also had time to observe. I saw people who ignored their own hardships and were instead concerned with how our local businesses would survive this downturn. We’ve seen some very creative initiatives that have helped our businesses adapt.
There are those who saw unmet needs such as PPE and hand sanitizer and got right to work trying to mitigate those shortages.
Some folks could have looked out for themselves and just huddled at home, but they were concerned instead with how our less fortunate citizens would suffer greater hardships. Were there people who couldn’t or shouldn’t leave their homes to get food or medications? Were there parents that were dealing with their children’s education and needed help?
Folks, we know that a crisis reveals much about people’s nature. Yes, there are those who prey on others, and there are those who hoard, but those few do not define our community. Look around you. We’re a community of people for whom good will, empathy, and generosity abound.
Our corner of North Carolina was already a pretty great place to live prior to the onset of this maddening disease, so returning to that normal certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing.
I believe though, that we will get something for our troubles. I believe that a great number of us will have taken this as an opportunity to gain perspective on what’s important. I believe most of us will be kinder, stronger versions of ourselves.
When all this is behind us, we’ll find we have built an even better Washington, NC
Roland Wyman is a retired businessman and marketing consultant.
He currently chairs Arts of the Pamlico/Turnage Theatre, president of Washington Noon Rotary, and on the board of Washington Harbor District Alliance.