Our COVID-19 pandemic introduced a vernacular that includes "PPE," "social distancing," and "new normal" among other phrases.
"New normal" may be the phrase I find most sadly infuriating.
There's nothing "normal" about our current state of affairs. There's absolutely no reason to believe any of these pandemic-induced behaviors need to become normalized.
Diane Vaughn, in her book The Challenger Decision, introduced the phrase "normalization of deviance" to describe becoming desensitized to abnormal behavior. While COVID-19 behaviors like social distancing aren't abnormal in a harmful way, they are atypical relative to previous human social behaviors. C-19 coping behaviors aren't bad, just irregular.
Economist Alan Beaulieu recently advised that we think of the COVID-19 as a natural disaster. In his context, the point was that in natural disasters - and the pandemic is one on steroids - the economy returns to the prevailing state prior to the event. Normal returns to normal.
In my context, no one during a natural disaster starts adopting new behavioral norms. During Hurricane Katrina, no roof-bound New Orleans resident was thinking that boating was the new normal. The Moore tornado in 2013 didn't result in a lot of underground construction.
Social distancing is an oxymoron that is counter to the most basic element of human relationships - the simple act of touch. There's nothing normal about banning handshakes and hugs.
Think about the most fundamental bits of C-19 advice: stay home if sick, cover your nose and mouth when sneezing, wash your hands. That's the "old normal" or "normal normal." If it isn't, a generation or two of parents should be ashamed (as well as their filthy, sputum spewing offspring).
C-19 is the temporary abnormal.