The question is premature, I know that. We’re still mired in the Groundhog Day sludge of sameness. Trump is still president. The vaccine rollout has been, predictably, botched. The COVID numbers are spiking and are getting worse. But the vaccines exist and we are 18 days away from the inauguration so, while we are still stuck in operational place for the next few months at least, the beginning of the New Year feels like a good time to start looking at the changes we want to see once things get back to ”normal.”

Year Ends With Record-Breaking Month in U.S. for Covid-19—The Wall Street Journal

Congress overrides a Trump veto for the first time with Senate vote on defense bill—WaPo

Judge Rejects Last-Minute Claim That Pence Can Ignore States’ Presidential Electors—NPR

January 1, 2021

Now what?
by Ruth Neuwald Falcon, Seattle, Washington

But there needs to be a new normal. Even if we could, going back to the way things were in the before times would not serve us, or the planet, which comes to the same thing. As Roger Delmar commented on yesterday’s post, “2020 is gone and 2021 awaits us. The story is ours to write.”

Yes, isolation is extremely challenging. At the same time, I feel relief that I don’t have to make social engagements when I’d really rather stay home and read and write. The pressure is off. All the “important” errands that used to fill up a day? Nope. Can’t do those. What will I choose to do once the current built-in boundaries are removed?

Because of our enforced limitations, we’ve been kinder to the planet these last ten months. How do we continue to make some of those choices once the restrictions are off, once we’re not afraid to get on planes, drive to offices, or do those endless errands?

We’ve saved lots of money by not having our hair and nails done. We clean our own houses. On the other hand, when we pay to have those things done for us, we’re enabling others to make a living. I’ve learned how to cut my own hair. Will I continue doing that? What’s my responsibility as a contributing member of our economy?

How can we help heal the painful and dangerous schisms in our society? So many friendships and familial bonds have been ruptured as it’s become more and more difficult to remain connected with those whose political and social views are radically different from our own. Can those fences be mended?

How do we go forward together and, as Joe Biden says, Build back better?


  1. I think it is unlikely that companies who have continued to successfully operate with employees working from home will return to large expensive offices they don’t really need. Less business travel expense as we’ve discovered Zoom meetings will suffice.
    Repurposing office space may prove to be a growing industry in the “new normal”.

    Liked by 1 person

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