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  • Glenn Sonnenberg

Musings from the Bunker 3/24/21

Good morning, GETTING BACK TO NORMAL As we begin to emerge from the “between times” of the past year-plus, we should acknowledge a few important things:

  • “Back to normal” will never be quite the same as the “before times.” I’m guessing it will be de rigueur to continue wearing masks in airports and other places of public transportation. I suspect we will not be blowing out birthday candles on cakes for the foreseeable future. And I think we all are going to act a little bit like Howie Mandel when an arm is extended for a handshake. These and other behaviors, great and small, will play into our daily lives.

  • “Back to normal” will be iterative. There will not be the sudden “all clear” signal, indicating it’s safe to go 100% back to the way things were (or we would like them to be). Notwithstanding reports of a complete abandonment of distancing, masking or responsible behaviors along the Florida coast of Spring Break and governors rushing to be among the first to “reopen” their states, notwithstanding public health advisories to the contrary, it should be a slow and deliberate process.

  • We have been changed for the good. We hopefully have learned to appreciate family and friends more, pay greater attention to the lengthening of the days, the song of the birds, the nature of nature. I suspect the slower pace has offered a time for introspection, self-awareness, and revaluation of the meaning and pace of life. We have learned new things—whether games, crafts, hobbies, languages, or just how to place and receive Zoom calls. And we have learned, I suspect, to have greater gratitude for the blessings we have.

  • We have been changed and not necessarily in a good way…as feelings of lack of control, inadequacy, frustration, anger, and isolation have given way in many cases to mild to severe anxiety in many people (a topic to be discussed next week when I’ll cover some recent mental health data and anecdotes).

THOUGHTS ON ISOLATION As we venture forth from isolation, a few observations on isolation, worthy of contemplation as we emerge: “There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall.” --Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (courtesy Adam Torson) “I'm not one of those guys that has a great worldview. I kind of deal with terror and fear and isolation and abandonment.” --David Bowie “We're all islands shouting lies to each other across seas of misunderstanding.” --Rudyard Kipling, The Light That Failed “Even the technology that promises to unite us, divides us. Each of us is now electronically connected to the globe, and yet we feel utterly alone.” --Dan Brown, Angels & Demons “What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action.” --Meister Eckhart Have a great day of contemplation and of the contemplation of action, Glenn

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