I have been living here for a little over two years, and when the quarantine period started, I saw the streets of Bangkok empty for the first time. The silence was deafening, and it made me feel like I’m in a different city.
Forced vaccinations, COVID passports and protective gear might on the other hand sound like feasible (though not necessarily good) solutions in societies that can afford and enforce such policies. In Somalia and Tanzania such efforts would at best though be half-hearted attempts, considering how even more important initiatives have been unsuccessful in the past.
My "new normal" has been a sequence of months in which I went from a deep level of stress trying to imagine a way in which we could hold our business together without being forced to close it; to a deeper level of procrastination once things had slowly started to settle; to a profound period of purely reflecting in all what happened since I moved from Spain into The Netherlands to study.
The new normal in the Netherlands is starting to look more and more like the old normal: shops are open, restaurants will re-open soon as well. The death toll is in a steady decline, and people are more confident to go out to meet each other, especially outside. The Curve seems to have flattened, and along with it our willingness to socially distance.
On our quest for greatness, we have forgotten how to breathe. Our daily routines used to revolve around rushing to work, skipping meals, and staying up late. We missed out on family dinners to attend to work matters. Our minds were everywhere and nowhere at the same time. That was the normal and we thought we had everything under control, then the plot twist happened.