The New Normal

16th Apr 2020 | Ben Pauley


I have been doing a lot of reading and thinking over the last 3 or so weeks. There seems to be an opinion and piece of advice every 5 minutes at the moment which is great. Information and idea sharing is something that defines us as a species and helps us progress and succeed where others haven’t.

What I find particularly intriguing though is the constant discussion of the ‘New Normal’ and the vastly changed landscape that will be planet earth at the end of this. I have read articles that talk about nationalism, dead industries (some go so far as to suggest that there will never be international tourism again), social distancing and some a great coming together.

Two things worth keeping in mind during these times is that no-one really knows this stuff and that there are some fundamentals of human nature.

Firstly, and I myself will admit to this, no-one truly has a real idea of what the world will look like after this is all over. Remember that most of this is opinion (not foresight) and whilst it is worth absorbing the information, working through the thought and planning for what might be you don’t want to find yourself emotionally distressed and panicked about what might be.

On to the second point, human nature, this is something that will help put what the world might look like in context. Humans everywhere have some innate characteristics that are just part of our species. We are risk takers, innovative, curious and extremely smart as a species.

You only need to look around your home to see some of this, we have the ability to sit in our living rooms, that shelter us comfortably from the elements, on couches designed for our comfort, drinking a beer and eating a bag of potato chips whilst watching on a device that was produced by an American company in China a show about a crack head in California that has an affinity for tigers. We can do this on demand, pause and rewind it at will and get ourself a second beer when we finish the first.

We have access to all of this because we have taken risks as a species, our ancestors set out on boats the size of your dining room table to travel the ocean to explore. We are constantly seeking an improvement in life and we are all connected like we haven’t been before. The grass will forever be greener and whilst it isn’t always sunny in Philadelphia the core of us believe there can be a better tomorrow.

These things lead me to believe that whilst there will be businesses that fail, restrictive travel (for a time), hardship for many people around the world and for some the sad death and loss of friends and family we will bounce back. And I expect the new normal will not be all that different from the old normal.

People will seek their fortunes, will explore and travel, will continue to want better TV’s, devices, houses and technologies. We will continue to make music, art and express ourselves. We will continue to trade with America, China, Australia and other all other nations.

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