Thanks to Brian Hudson for writing our Guest Blog today on my day off:-
A NEW NORMAL?
So now we know that it could be six months before we are back to “normal”. But I’m left wondering what the new normal will be.
A friend said, once it was all over, he was going out for a slap-up meal. But I wonder if his favourite restaurant, pub, café or coffee shop will still be there, or whether it will have had to close. I suspect the number of empty premises in our High Streets will increase.
And you wonder whether the NHS will change. It’s been suggested that there will be more video appointments, rather than face-to-face (though I’m not sure why this will save GPs’ time). At least it will be very hard for any politician to cut NHS funding for many years to come! But presumably the list for elective surgery will have grown longer, and many GPs and consultants may be facing burn-out.
Economically, the world will somehow have to find all the money it has been spending, and that won’t be back to normal in six months.
On the good side, can we hope that the volunteering effort will remain, with neighbours looking out for neighbours and offering help where needed.
Air quality is improving (and maybe climate change slowing?) as there are fewer car and plane journeys. Can we maintain that, or will we be back to expecting an annual trip to far flung places?
But what about the church? What will the new normal be like here, or will it really be back to the old normal. No doubt someone somewhere will say that the virus is God punishing mankind for straying from His ways – I just hope enough people in leadership roles squash this the minute it appears: how can a God of love send plagues on his children?
Some church goers may find they haven’t really missed not having a Sunday morning service, or feel that the church hasn’t played its part properly in a crisis situation, and so drift away from regular attendance. Others will feel that the love and support shown by their church friends has strengthened their faith and identity. But is there a continuing place for video services in the new normal? And how can we reach out to those who have suffered bereavement, possibly without even having had a “proper” funeral?
I’ve no idea what the new normal will be, but suspect there will be a lot of differences from what went before.
Prayer Point: Pray for hard-pressed NHS staff – not just in general terms, but think of, and name, your own GP or other NHS staff you know personally.