The photo on this page was taken a year after the big Christchurch earthquake. It represented an inner Christchurch suburb community attempt to cope with the ‘new normal’ the city had been presented with by these devastating earthquakes. Once collapsed buildings had been cleared from their sites, new community initiated uses evolved, in some cases on a temporary basis, in other situations temporary became at least semi-permanent. Isn’t it amazing how much difference an old arm chair and a repurposed refrigerated display cabinet can make filled with books can make when stumbles across them where one least expects them? For me, coming across that scene some years ago was a timely reminder that a lot of things had changed in Christchurch and that I needed to look at anything related to the city and its people from a different perspective.
Fast forward to today…
The whole world is dealing with a ‘new’ normal situation. And yes, there are some people who hate this expression because they pursue their own theories on what Covid is all about and are often not available for rational discussion.
The big difference for me though between the Christchurch example and how Covid is impacting in our society, is that it is difficult to find lasting physical evidence of the destruction the pandemic is causing. Yes, we are also having to deal with collapsing structures, but these are typically in the virtual space, supply chains for example.
In other words, the evidence is not a cleared site where a house used to stand but the emotions of and impact on people.
People who are impacted on Covid do need some normality in their lives and it is increasingly becoming difficult to find someone who has not been impacted. If not directly by the infection, then as a consequence of society’s attempts to deal with and protect itself. Lockdown, wearing masks, working from a home office, is all feasible one way or another but theses changes do leave traces.