Back to the Future… Another Normalcy?

Dear Reader:

I think Professor Emmett Brown (“Doc”) might have to add (these days) 2021 to his warning to Marty about not returning to those years…in “Back to the Future.”

After I got better from the second vaccine I felt so much energy and wanted to share it with the world! I felt like I had arrived with my parachute strapped on…ready to jump back into time before the pandemic…but was halted at the open door in the airplane…told to step back…I couldn’t jump into whatever new land existed now until 85% of the other jumpers had their parachute training too.

“What? Bummer! How long will that take?” I only received shakes of heads and shrugs.

Thinking back on this initial sense of elation and achievement in completing my vaccinations…there really was a slight moment of sadness that I couldn’t return to my everyday activities and social events with friends …life before the pandemic. I couldn’t run into anybody’s house with my good news and feel a great old-fashion hug again or still feel safe socially eating in my favorite dining haunts  …of which, sadly, several are gone now.

But now that I do have time to consider what we all might be returning to…evidence is mounting that life will be changed from what we remembered and what the “new world” will resemble.

Occupational Analysts are already making predictions about the changes in protocol affecting about 70% of the work force…some occupations more than others…(If you work outside, construction sites, farms, residential and commercial grounds…be thankful..these jobs will be the least affected by the new changes.)

After reading through these predictions…I thought the occupational analysts should have just said…Life will continue…but without visually face to face physical people to talk to in most professions.

What we have already experienced with medical care, on-site personal care, customer service, leisure and travel…will soon have company… as retail stores, banks and post offices begin opting to change to e-commerce and other digital transactions…replacing the human personal touch…sadly a behavioral change likely to stick.

Large cities like NY City will soon have “Ghost Towers” as less expensive company meeting sites will move in to smaller towns and suburbs for interim physical site gatherings as needed…thus saving on overhead and high rental costs.

Workers…willing and ready to return to work… even with long commutes (as in the cartoon) will sadly discover that they no longer have this option.

Remote work and virtual meetings are likely to continue…the norm being 3-5 days a week.

I realize how lucky I am to be retired so that I am not directly affected, in the job market, but it still leaves my adult children learning to make permanent daily and social changes in occupations, habits, school, children and just plain life after the pandemic.

Emotionally, however, we all will be affected…not seeing my favorite teller inside the bank or at the window, a friendly postal worker explaining the cheapest way to send a package to the grandchildren, familiar faces in department stores that have been dear to me for years while shopping.

We humans, at least most of us, need human contact in our lives…I don’t want some automated voice telling me how to check out or purchase something…I want human interaction with laughter and facial expressions, jokes….that is how I grew up…and I certainly never thought I would out-live human contact in my daily comings and goings.

God made us to build relationships with all forms of life while here on earth…Human relationships are the most critical part of our gifted short stay in this world. It is the spirit that binds all humans.

So until tomorrow….

I think the question is now…how are we going to keep the family closeness that came out of the pandemic when “busyness” tries to consume these moments again… and, then, how are we going to fight for the right to see and communicate with another human being and not automated voices?

I think we need a plan…to be ready to tell leaders in our lives and our children’s lives that we want human presence in the time we spend on earth…if it needs to be a 10th and a half amendment added under the Bill of be it. Here’s one retired school teacher who will rally the troops for this personal right!

” We have the right to expect to be able to communicate with human beings in local, state, and federal diversified positions who will answer, direct, advise, and help their fellow man throughout daily life.”

So until tomorrow…”Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*I was surprised to see (while researching the topic today) that the whole gang of Back to the Future had reunited for an U-tube program, comedian Josh Gad created, called “Reunited Apart“…bringing back actors in popular movie roles to help raise money for Project Hope…donations going towards front-line medical personnel fighting the coronavirus. A great idea!

So the Beat Goes on and Spring keeps Blooming regardless of what else is happening in the world…Day by Day!





About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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