The New Normal. These are the three most chilling words in public discussion right now. Masks, keeping our distance from each other, avoiding overseas travel, half-empty pubs, nods of the head taking the place of handshakes and hugs… these are all part of The New Normal, we’re told. Boris Johnson says social distancing could last till November, and maybe even longer. And the only criticism he gets from leftists is that he’s easing lockdown too speedily. These weirdly anti-social socialists want us to be atomised forever. It’s clear now that the regime of social distancing has little to do with Covid-19. Rather, it’s the latest manifestation of contemporary society’s culture of distrust, suspicion and separation, where we’re always encouraged to see our fellow citizens as dangerous and diseased, liable to harm us with their words, their come-ons, their second-hand smoke, etc. We need to ditch the distancing and get back to the social – to a properly civic world in which people pull together rather than avoiding each other literally like the plague.
Blogger’s note: I couldn’t have said it better.