The New Normal?

Things have been, and still are, pretty rough here in Italy through this coronavirus time. And not just because we’ve had such a high rate of cases and deaths. But because in addition to the usual restrictions, like social distancing, masks, gloves, diminished freedom, company closures, and loss of jobs (like my husband’s) – our restrictions have been extra confining.

Restrictions that are making life heavy and a little depressing.

And they’re saying this, to a degree, will be our new normal.

Some experts, in fact, are stating we should expect some of these things to continue for some time to come, even into 2022. But hopefully not with these extra rigid measures they’ve enacted over here…

1. No going out at all.

We’re not allowed out of our homes at all except for food shopping or medical reasons. Not even for a walk, to run, or jog. And only one family member is allowed out at one time, wearing mask and gloves. I’ve barely been out of the house (except for our garden) during the past 2 months.

2. No leaving town.

Except for medical reasons or work, even though hardly anyone is working. And if I go in the car with Hubby, I’m required to sit in the back seat. (Even though we sit and sleep side by side at home!)

We haven’t been out of our town for 2 months. And that, perhaps, is the hardest part, especially for residents of smaller towns like ours. We only have really small food stores here with higher than normal prices, that now keep climbing.

3. No ceremonies or celebrations.

All ceremonies and celebrations have been put on hold, no matter how small. No one can get married. And people get buried with no ceremony and no family members present at all, even if they didn’t die from the virus.

They call all these things shelter in place, lockdown, isolation, quarantine, and social distancing. To me, it seems more like house arrest – even though we’ve done nothing wrong.

And they’re saying all this will be our our new normal.

But there’s nothing normal about it. There’s nothing normal about not being free to move about. There’s nothing normal about lack of community or being fearful of others. Or about not being able to care for others in more tangible ways. And there’s no normal in not being able to get married, or being able to say our final goodbyes.

A normal life, according to God, is an abundant overflowing life.

A life literally overflowing with joy, peace, love, freedom, and hope. A life of being connected to God, others, and the world around us.

Perhaps the experts may be right and we’ll have to deal with some of these things for some time to come.

But I refuse to consider them normal, and will continue to hope and wait for a return to the more normal life that we had before all this happened. The life that was at least a little closer to that which God has in mind for humanity.

Because normal is supposed to be a life of abundant hope, peace, joy and freedom!

The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.

John 10:10 WEB

Published by Signora Sheila

Missionary blogger, wife, mom, nonna. Join my simple life journey of faith and missions in small town Italy!

10 thoughts on “The New Normal?

  1. What a glorious day it will be when we can return to the “old normal!” We’ll be euphoric just to able to come and go again as we please, fellowship with family and friends, worship at church, hug and kiss the grandchildren! There HAVE been some blessings surfacing out of this pandemic, however, for which I’m grateful. In a world that seemed to be falling apart at the seams, we still have a lot of: 1) wonderful, generous, self-sacrificing people, 2) creative, tireless people working on various problems caused by COVID-19 (vaccine, interventions, economic recovery, etc), 3) People with delightful senses of humor who keep us laughing with their posts, videos, etc. Laughter IS good medicine! and 4) ways to keep in touch on social media. (Remember the days when snail mail and expensive long distance phone calls were the only options? (Maybe you’re too young, Sheila!) I’m also praying many will turn to God during this siege, and all of us will be a lot more grateful to God and kinder to each other in our communities, once this is over.

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    1. Yes Nancy, that will be a glorious day indeed! We do still have many blessings and positives to be grateful for. But – me being too young to remember snail mail and expensive phone calls? That’s a good one!! I am a grandma 9 times over, you know! When we came to Italy 30+ years ago, snail mail was all we had, because it cost $1.00 US, to call the states. Phone calls were extremely rare, and we had to list all the important things we had to discuss. There wasn’t time for much less. We are grateful for what technology has brought us. And now through blogging, we also have the blessing of connecting with people around the world. That certainly makes the shut-in time seem less closed. Thanks for that reminder, Nancy. It’s been getting a bit hard to deal with.

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    1. Thank you, Melinda. Yes, that’s all we can do – and hope that it will come soon!! It’s such a comfort knowing that God is with us in every time and circumstance! He is our hope and assurance.

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    1. Thanks Katie. We all need to be sorry for the whole world. A lot of places, sadly, have even more restrictions than we do, and we have all we need, so we really can’t complain. But it is starting to wear a bit thin!

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    1. Thanks so much! Statistics are getting better, and they’re talking about easing restrictions on May 4. We are sure hoping they will. Hopefully things will continue to improve everywhere!

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  2. Normal in God’s terms looks more like true freedom to be all He’s created us to be, with movement and enjoyment in the small everyday things that He has blessed us with. I agree with you–this isn’t normal. Nor is it kind. People are hurting from the restrictions, from the isolation, and it’s not just lost jobs that will be the issue. The emotional, mental, and spiritual effects of this will last for a long time to come. But God. He alone can be the power to get us through this with hope. Thanks for voicing your heart, Sheila. You speak for us all.

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    1. That is so sadly true, Dayle. The effects are much more far reaching than the sickness, death, and economic woes which are the more obvious difficulties. Like you said, we will also have the emotioinal, mental, and spiritual effects to deal with for a long time to come too. BUT… we have God and he will see us through!!

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