Imagining a New Normal Post-Covid

Millennial writer Meghan Clark  writes:

Yet perhaps this is a time not for returning but for reimagining the ecology of our daily lives.

Relationships with family and friends become both more intentional and precarious. How do we accompany each other while maintaining physical distance? This requires creativity, generosity, and significant self-care. In times of prolonged crisis we can easily feel like we’re failing, because there is no “normal.” Spiritually, I feel suspended in the anxiety of the disciples in the upper room: Where do we go from here? Who are we called to be? But perhaps there is much to learn from living in liminal space….

As we look outward, two realities emerge. First, while everyone is at risk of the new virus, there is not equality of vulnerability. As a teacher, I am experiencing this period of distancing from a place of considerable privilege. Moving my courses online and attending to my students’ academic, emotional, and spiritual needs are challenging, but I have a stable job that allows me to physically distance.

COVID-19 is exposing—not creating—social, economic, and racial injustices. The structural inequities revealed by higher death rates among African Americans bring into the public vision realities to which scholars and activists have long tried to draw attention. Now that they have our attention, will we as a country pause long enough to address the need for public health infrastructure and other basic needs? Or will we rush back to a “normal” that leaves out many of our neighbors?…

My hope is that we will choose to use our time living in this unusual context to ask ourselves who we are called to be. May we be open to the possibility of a more just and inclusive answer.