With any material change, it is only natural to refer to the post-change period as the "new normal". In almost all instances, "new normal" tends to have a negative connotation, as in "my life will never be the same in the new normal" or "I'm scared for my job/family/lifestyle in the new normal". For a lot of people, the worry is increased because the focus of sources we trust (family, friends, colleagues, the media) tends to be on quantifying just how different our lives will be in the "new normal".
At Stratus, what we believe is needed right now is hope, not prognostications about a future none of us can predict with certainty. For example, the trauma caused by the Civil War also spawned health advances such as modernized ambulance services, an inhaler for anesthetics, improved sanitation for hospitals and patients, and the use of prosthetics. This is not to diminish the challenges faced during and after the war, but to point out that we can choose to focus on how our life will never be the same or use history as a guide to show us that while change may be difficult, it typically drives innovation that improves our quality of life in the "new normal".
Therefore, we encourage you to complete the following thought experiment - imagine you could go through a traumatic event with the ability to shape how society would emerge on the other end. Then ask yourself the following two questions:
1. What would you change about the way society operates?
2. What negatives would you want the crisis to wipe away or alter?
The reason we encourage you to spend 10-15 minutes with this thought experiment is that history shows that our lives will be upended by large-scale events, but that does not mean that the post-event world has to be worse. The only thing we know with any degree of certainty is that the post-COVID world will be different. By thinking collectively within our families, jobs and communities, perhaps the "new normal" does not have to be a scary unknown, but a re-envisioned society that will move us into a new era of knowledge and prosperity.