{shortcode-6a54e67b67b42516adb9f034e7f03c52ff5f5f15}Do you ever wake up from your mid-lecture nap and suddenly have this moment where nothing feels real? Like, why are you watching your lecture online, from your childhood bedroom, with damp hair slightly scented like seasoning from when you passed out face down in your bowl of ramen?

Me too. It hits me especially hard when I’m watching Netflix (definitely not mid-lecture) and the characters are gathering in groups without masks. Today’s pandemic world feels like an alternate dimension, yet we keep hearing the term “new normal”. And, after taking a step back, you realize how much society has already adapted to this “new normal” without fully being aware of it. As proof, here are some common phrases we’ve started saying because of the pandemic that would have sounded crazy to us before ’rona moved in.

“So sorry, I swear it’s just my allergies! So sorry!”

Never before have people been so apologetic about their allergies. Or been so desperate to stifle sneezes. Or coughs. Or sniffles. Or anything that may sound like a cold, even if it’s not actually a symptom of the coronavirus. Some days, it’s just better to stay home and not buy those bananas you needed in order to make the fifth banana bread of this week.

“Please remain socially distant and six feet apart at all times.”

This may sound perfectly normal to us now, but think back to a year ago. How would you react if the lady at the grocery store told you to stay away from all other human beings in the vicinity? It would just be weird. That is all.

“Sorry, you can’t come inside without a mask.”

This one’s in the same category. Seems very reasonable now, but back in the pre-rona ages, this one would have sounded just bizarre. Is this some sort of coup? Are we all robbing the store together? Or are we performing surgery in the middle of the store? Is there some hazardous chemical on the walls that we shouldn’t be breathing in? Are masks the new fashion statement? A pandemic would probably be the last thing that comes to mind.

“Oh, sorry, I forgot to put my hand down.”

Ah, yes, the beauty of Zoom classes. Think about it. You forgot to put your hand down? Obviously, in the Zoom context this phrase makes perfect sense, but if someone overheard you from another room before Zoom classes were a thing, they may or may not have taken you for a lunatic.

Constantly telling everyone to “stay safe”

Whether it’s when you’re catching up with an old friend or signing off powerfully worded emails to your professors, you keep telling people to “stay safe.” In normal times, we would have thought that was just strange. Like, how did you know I was about to send that risky text to my ex? Just food for thought.

“I’m getting such bad maskne.”

It’s a thing. Wearing masks and sweating in them for hours on end has been negatively affecting our complexions throughout the pandemic (it’s definitely not caused in part by all of the baked goods we’ve been consuming). But “maskne” is an entirely new slang word that didn’t exist before Coronavirus. A year or so ago, if someone overheard you saying that, they would have either been plain confused, or utterly disappointed in their inability to keep up with all the modern day lingo.

Elbow tap!

I’ll let you think about this one on your own.

Well, that’s all for now. Stay safe ;)