I have been bothered by the term “new normal” since it first came up back in mid-March. Remember those day? We were all staying home for 15 days to flatten the curve. And then we would be in a new normal.
I did not like the term from the beginning. Perhaps because I’m not that crazy about the word normal to begin with. After all, if you have normal and things shift and then you have a new normal, it seems obvious to me that there was never a normal. Am I right?
What Does New Normal Even Mean?
As the term persisted, I finally searched online and found this definition in the Urban Dictionary: “The current state of being after some dramatic change has transpired. What replaces the expected, usual, typical state after an event occurs. The new normal encourages one to deal with current situations rather than lamenting what could have been.”
But then, I began to notice that people were talking about these times of quarantine as the new normal. This was even more disturbing to me.
Heaven help us if this time is ever even close to normal!
I could accept that the time after the pandemic could be considered a new normal. But not this time. Not in the middle of the pandemic. With its quarantines and mask wearings. I don’t want to live in a world where these things are considered normal.
This is NOT the New Normal. It’s not normal at all
And may none of the things we are seeing during this pandemic become normal. Not masks. Not “social distancing.” (That’s another term I would like to get rid of. It’s physical distancing. We can still be social. And civil.) Not “virtual” everything.Pan-Normal - coined by Barbara McNeely to describe this time! Click To Tweet
Instead, I propose to you a new term: pan-normal defined as follows:
“the atypical, ever-changing phase that the world is currently going through – somewhere between the ‘old’ normal and the new normal”
I tried it out recently with my Toastmasters club. We have been meeting virtually, via Zoom, since mid-March. I was the Wordmaster. My role was to suggest a word for the day and encourage everyone who spoke to use that word. It’s a great vocabulary building exercise.
I introduced my word and it caught on well. Many club members used it. I knew they would because I knew I was not the only one who didn’t feel that we were in a new normal.
Feel free to use my new word: pan-normal. Correct others when they talk about being in the new normal. We are not there. And be sure to tell them you learned pan-normal from me!
Has this pandemic got you down? Feeling stressed? It’s easy to understand, all things considered.
You might check out this post where I talk about how I’ve been trying to keep sane: Trying to Stay Sane
Would you like to talk? One conversation could help get you back on your path! Schedule a free, no obligation call with me! I would love to chat!