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Piece of Mind: New Normal Looks 'Normal'

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Masks such as these will remain a big part of our lives.

As I go about my day, which at times includes running an errand or two around town, I am beginning to conclude something about the state of affairs.

It is that they aren’t going to change much in the next year … or maybe two!

I notice all the masks on people’s faces. I watch a lot of folks at the neighborhood grocery store practicing “social distancing” while waiting to get their groceries checked. I notice folks at the sanitizer dispensers washing their hands. I am struck by how many of us are following the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other experts.

The pandemic and its impact are staying with us for the foreseeable future. Maybe even beyond it.

I hate acknowledging what I know in my heart and my head to be true, which is that no matter how safe we think we are, we cannot possibly for even a moment divert our attention away from the need to take care of our health.

I know too many people who are losing loved ones to the COVID virus. Just today a friend of mine, who is married to a physician, told me she lost her father-in-law to the disease. My friend, again drawing on her husband’s expertise, also told me that close to 80 percent of COVID patients who are placed on ventilators do not recover; I mention that a member of my family has recovered from a month-long hospital stay which included lengthy time on a ventilator.

President Biden has asked us to wear masks. He is doing so as well. So is his wife, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband. They are setting an example for the rest of us to follow.

I am all in.

I never swilled the snake oil that the president’s predecessor, Donald Trump, was peddling as he told us in early 2020 that the virus was “under control.” It damn sure wasn’t. It is getting that way now — finally!

I believe we have entered the realm of the new normal, which to my way of thinking is beginning to look, well, just plain normal.

John Kanelis, former editorial page editor for the Amarillo Globe-News and the Beaumont Enterprise, is also a former blogger for Panhandle PBS in Amarillo. He is now retired, but still writing. Kanelis can be contacted via Twitter @jkanelis, on Facebook, or his blog, www.highplainsblogger.com. Kanelis' blog for KETR, "Piece of Mind," presents his views, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of KETR, its staff, or its members.

Kanelis lives in Princeton with his wife, Kathy.

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