The New Normal. Is this even a thing? Can we have an actual new normal? It would seem, from this writer’s perspective, that we have no choice. I don’t believe for one minute life will return to what we knew as normal. I’m not even sure that would be a good thing. People didn’t pay attention, life was taken for granted. Sadly, there are still millions who are not paying attention to the science. I do hope though, that more people than not are actually waking up to the reality of the new normal.
At the time of this writing, we are in our 65th day of stay-at-home state mandate. Our definition of stay-at-home is, we do not go in to public or private buildings and we stay 6′ away from all people when we’re out walking. We’re fortunate in that we’ve had success with delivery services and curbside pick-up. There, right there, curbside pick-up.
Was it always such a simple task to place an online order with a company similar to wine.com for example, and have a store clerk place your purchase in the trunk of your car? I’m guessing yes, but seemingly not to the degree of how it is now in the new normal.
A Few Clicks on the Phone
If ever there was a time for smart phones, it’s now more than ever. If you’ve got a credit card, or a mobile banking app such as PayPal or Zelle, you can get anything delivered to your door, or you can pull up to a designated spot and someone will bring your order. Grocery stores, restaurants, wine stores, bakeries, creameries, home repair, etc. are all ramping up their delivery and pick-up services.
The young woman who does our grocery shopping uses Zelle. With just a few clicks on our phone, we can transfer money from our bank account to hers within minutes. She sends me a text when she’s in line to enter the store and we guesstimate the cost and transfer the money. Once we know the final amount, we adjust accordingly and add her fee. It’s brilliant.
The Delivery Industry
In this stay-at-home life we can’t just hop in the car and drive to the newest station to refill our propane tanks for our grill. We’ve discovered Propane Taxi. Someone will come to our house, walk up our driveway (or wherever) pick up our empty tank and replace it with a full one. For the low cost of $10. Was this a thing before? Probably, but it’s new to us. I think there are all kinds of ingenious new services popping up in this new normal life of ours.
Seemingly, the delivery industry has skyrocketed since the onset of the pandemic.
Recently, the CEO of Twitter announced that all workers who need/want to can work from home permanently. That’s a huge announcement and one that will definitely drive the new normal. As other companies such as Facebook, Zillow, and Capitol One, jump on the work-from-home bandwagon think about the economic impact on the real estate industry. Why would a company cover the cost of renting thousands of square feet of office space when their employees can work from home (or anywhere) as long as they have internet access?
For employees who have family obligations, or long commutes to the office, or health issues, or just a preference, think about the emotional well-being of having the choice to work from home.
Raise your hand if you’ve heard the term Zoom more times than ever in the past few weeks. Zoom trainings, Zoom conference calls, Zoom concerts, and the list goes on. I’m so over Zoom and I’ve never once logged on.
A Return to Normal
The governor of Maryland, our home state, has implemented a return to normal, in stages. However, our particular county is one of a few that is not yet open. Our numbers are too high. And, because Maryland is closely connected to life in Virginia and Washington, DC, it’s a jigsaw puzzle as to who’s open and who’s not. Washington, DC is still on tight lock down, but just like everywhere, people are rebelling and pushing their way out.
They either don’t believe the science or they do believe but they’re sick of staying home, or they want/need to return to work. The $1,200 payment from the government lasted about a minute for most people who live paycheck to paycheck.
Travel in the New Normal
I’m sure you can imagine I spend a lot (too much) of time researching and chatting about the travel and hospitality industry. The worldwide pandemic took a tremendous toll on the industries, but of course you know that.
More than anything of late, I have been aching to start walking. I’m mentally ready to take on another Camino, or The Dingle Way, or Hadrian’s Wall, basically any inn-to-inn walk. I’m more than ready. One of the best aspects of a long walk is the ability to just get lost in the peace and quiet. Between Covid-19 and the upcoming election, life here in the US is anything but tranquil.
Recently, I was invited to participate in a collaboration that required me to look through our Camino de Santiago photos and it was bittersweet because I don’t know when/if we’ll be able to return to Europe.
Right now, we wouldn’t get on a flight if you paid us. Even if we did, I don’t think I could stand to wear a mask for a seven-hour flight across the pond. And, it would seemingly be pointless unless people were not allowed to eat or drink on said seven-hour flight. International travel will definitely be impacted in the new normal. Can you imagine the length of lines as people wait, six feet apart, to go through airport security?
Of course I have no idea but if I had to hazard a guess I would predict US citizens will not be admitted in to EU countries (or anywhere) without proof of vaccine. The US is too far behind in the game to combat the virus.
Return to the Drive-in
Remember the drive-in movie experience? I’m predicting there is going to be a return to the drive-in theaters. And, they won’t be just for movies. Think about it, church services, concerts, conferences, rallies, they all fit the drive-in format.
On the Road
Will daycations and road trips, such as Route 66, become the preferred method of travel in the new normal? A road trip has the potential to offer a more self-controlled travel experience. We love a good road trip and I foresee a lot of them in our near future. I just have to figure out the public restroom situation. (insert eeesh emoji) Once campground and RV facilities figure out the logistics, I think RV travel and camping will experience an increase as well.
Are You Ready?
People are pushing the boundaries and as hard as local governments are trying to hold back the tide… the inevitable is just around the corner. Are you ready? Is it too soon, or is it time to push forward and hope for the best?
On our trip from Spain to Montreal, we were masked for almost 20 hours straight (except for the few moments we inhaled meals and switched masks). At one point, I looked at my raw,dry hands and I felt if this is the new normal then we really need to find a new base ASAP. I think going forward we will do more on-line shopping (it’s actually kind of fun and less stressful then going into shops), plan for more outside activities ( always wear masks in public) and have wine/food tasting on our balcony. We’ve had a lifetime of eating and drinking out. It’s just not worth the exposure to us or others. Keep safe Patti and Abi <3.
spanky recently posted…León (Spain) in Photos
Completely agree, Spanky. We finally relented and sign on to Amazon prime because we’ve been getting so many deliveries, especially in March and April when the sh*t hit the fan. We have a love/hate relationship with Amazon and Jeff Bezos. It’s like, “damn you Amazon for having what I need and can’t find it anywhere else.” I have to admit we’re really enjoying the Amazon Prime Video streaming service. When you can’t go anywhere, copious hours of television are watched. We’re taking binge watching to a whole new level! 🙂
As much as it all sucks the most interesting thing is seeing how things will change and how smart business owners are adapting. Like you I haven’t heard about some of these apps and we’re probably behind the times (but we also don’t have a home and these household things to worry about…)
Curious: what is the fee for someone to do your shopping for you? We’re planning on going back to Montreal in a month and it looks like we will be required to self-isolate for 2 weeks. So we’ll have to get caught up on these different delivery services.
And you’re right, it’ll redefine the concept of work. And what will that do to business real estate? Maybe it’ll free up more prime real estate for people…and lower rents?
To answer your question, Frank: When we need to order from a grocery store in our area we use GIANT, which has it’s own delivery service. GIANT charges $9.95 for delivery of orders that total $99. Free delivery for orders more than $99. Tipping is voluntary.
A well-known delivery service is Instacart. They charge a delivery fee,(can’t remember how much) a 5% service fee and a minimum of 5% tip.
We found the young woman who shops for us through a neighborhood grape vine. She will shop pretty much anywhere for a flat fee of $15. However, for Costco and Trader Joe’s she charges $20 because she has to stand in line to enter the stores which takes more of her time.
I suspect you’ll find similar situations in Canada.
November 15th will be my 5 year anniversary ( !!! )as a resident in Portugal but I’m not sure what the next renewal in December of my resident visa will bring as some of the rules with SEF have been changed recently to accommodate the ever-increasing number of foreigners immigrating here. I’m prepared for anything and everything and hoping for at least a 5 year visa. I’ll bring along my language course certification in the event that it makes a difference and will let you know what happens for sure! 😀
I (FINALLY) finished my 150-hour Portuguese class lessons last Thursday on, what else, Zoom. I actually liked it as I only needed to wash my face, brush my teeth and put a t-shirt on with my pj bottoms and continue to sit in front of the computer. Took out all the hassle of having to get up and moving first thing in the morning! HaHa. After having gotten used to the stay-at-home order, I’m on pretty much the same page as you Patti, and find that I’m in no hurry to be out and about again. I’ve very much enjoyed the pleasure of a day unwinding slowly as well as the simplicity of not having to be on the go so much and keep in mind how fortunate I am to have options to choose from. Like a lot of other introvert/extroverts, I’ve worked hard over the years to forge and strengthen the connections I have with friends and I’m rather afraid that my inner hermit may take over again. Also, I can see a real downside for the US (and the rest of the world) if people become ever more and more isolated, less exposed to diverse opinions, new places and other people and continue to view the world outside from an ever narrowing window. That could bring about even greater divides than exist already in, as you say, the great divided States. It’s hard to get past the devastation and loss of this pandemic period but it will be interesting to see how we all emerge and the new strategies put in place to deal with a post-Covid world. Keep well my friends and keep researching your next big walk!
Anita recently posted…Just Like Riding A Bike, A Little Procrastination And Leaving Lagos
“…if people become ever more and more isolated, less exposed to diverse opinions, new places and other people and continue to view the world outside from an ever narrowing window.”
Very interesting point, Anita, and I think one that will sharpen further given the direction of the November election. There is so much ugly in the country and no matter what the election reveals, there are millions of people who will potentially withdraw further in to a personal bubble. It’s really quite sad, but self-preservation may have to prevail in some fashion.
Congratulations on having finished your Portuguese course! Will completion of the course suffice for your renewal requirements?
Great post. Propane tank deliveries finally in the US.
Living here in Medellin, Colombia we can get anything delivered. Including prescription drugs and a 35 lb bag of dog food mostly by motorcycle!
Agree with getting on any long distance International flights. We think RV and boat sales will take off for the next few years. Being mobile in your home has a lot of benefits. We know two other couples that are bloggers and are in Australia and France living full time in their only home on wheels.
That’s a funny image, a 35 lb. bag of dog food riding on a motorcycle. 🙂 It will be interesting to see if RV travel does increase as more and more people decide not to fly. Just today read an article that TAP Portugal Airlines will resume flights between Newark and Lisbon in June. Very surprised by that decision. Here is the article if you’re interested. https://www.frommers.com/blogs/arthur-frommer-online/blog_posts/portugal-reopens-to-tourism-june-6-but-with-an-odd-twist?fbclid=IwAR2w0Mga5CwhYURwUdMrNMqtNkM8mv6J_-WlKit-r4nItNIVNK6kqrsNYvU