Try For a Normal without Tyrants

Are you enjoying this “new normal?”

Neither am I. What can be done about it?

Consider: Those who gained power or prestige by using the COVID panic will not willingly go back to the way life was before. They will have to be forced out. They’ll probably make this a crime before you get the chance. Try anyway.

Even if you do successfully force them out, things can never go back to exactly the way they were before.

COVID-19 is a new cold virus, added to over 200 cold viruses — rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, and others — that are already out there. You could get lifetime immunity from each cold virus you catch (as is usually the case) and still get two colds every year if you lived to be 100 years old. Future generations — until every cold virus is cured — probably won’t know or care which specific cold virus they caught.

Another change that will probably be permanent is how many people lost trust in “experts.” My trust in the medical profession has been almost completely destroyed by the events of the past year and a half and I’m not the only one.

Some of your neighbors have also been inspired to become snitches or enforcers for the state — enforcing the opinions of politicians against their fellow humans, both as business owners and as freelance “Karens.” Will they go back to a healthy way of interacting with others once the silliness ends? Don’t count on it.

Governments also got new visions of what is possible; more understanding of what the population will allow them to do. They will take advantage of this at every opportunity.

Things change. You can never go back to the way things were in the past. However, you don’t have to allow bad changes to stand unchallenged; you can turn them into opportunities to change things for the better. You can now see cracks in the wall of political authority. Grab a crowbar and sledgehammer and get to work. This wall, like the Berlin Wall before it, can — and should — be brought down.

Yes, we will settle into a new normal, different from the one we lived before. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The new normal doesn’t have to be the one authoritarian politicians want. It can be a normal where tyrants have no place among those who choose society over politics. It’s up to you.