UNITED STATES─I have been hearing about people having vivid and odd dreams in the midst of this Coronavirus pandemic. I thought at first it was just a fluke, until I recently had one of those vivid dreams that seemed so REAL it was almost impossible to explain with words.  I have held no secret to my desire to get out of the house and get moving just like the rest of America. I do have a slight edge as I work in an industry where I am considered an essential worker.

At the same time, it makes me predisposed to potentially catching COVID-19, which is absolutely scary. I know some people are taking things serious, others not so much. However, when you have family who contracted the virus or you know people who have died as a result of it, it totally changes everything. If being housed for 6-8 weeks prevents the loss of thousands of lives, I’m all for it. However, I must admit the one thing that I have missed is venturing out to the mall.

I would not call myself a shopaholic, but the notion of just getting out and being amongst people, seeing what’s new and just seeing retailers is a fun hobby. The one good thing about the malls being closed is that I have saved a ton of money; I mean more money than I could have ever imagined people. So without a doubt, this pandemic has taught me that I was spending quite a bit of money at retailers. Raising an even bigger question was rather all the items I purchased were needs or just me spending money for the sake of spending.

Look, already three paragraphs in and I’ve totally forgot to address the issue: vivid pandemic dreams. This past week I had the craziest dream that seemed so real I remember it to a ‘T.’ Things were getting back to normal post this pandemic or at least it appeared so. The malls had reopened and I just happened to be at one, however, what I witnessed was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The malls were packed and I mean chaotic packed, worse than what I’ve seen on Black Friday and the holidays.

People were anxious and wanted to spend money and they absolutely were doing it. Deals were incredible, but I witnessed a sight that I had never seen before: people were still wearing masks and gloves. Yes. While the pandemic may have appeared over, people were not taking any chances they were being extra cautious with their health. It was unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed before; slightly scary, surreal, but the oddest feeling I got was that this was the new normal. This was NOT going to change, people were going to be wearing mask as a new norm in society.

I felt I was the only person taken aback by the sight that I was witnessing for everyone else it was business as normal. It just made me feel if this is the new normal, the notion of being more personable with people has now become a thing of the past, and that is where I sense our country is headed. Oh, people will probably never shake hands ever again. Hugs, those are a thing of the past, especially when it comes to complete strangers, heck we might even take that approach with distant family members as precaution.

I mean I was a retailer this past week, and I saw a sight that I never thought I’d see: the company was selling masks. Actual masks to wear while shopping, the price is a bit stiff if you ask me, but that is something we can discuss at a later time America. The new normal is gloves, sanitation, face masks, social distancing, that is the new norm for our lives as we know it. I will acknowledge the issue pertaining to proper hygiene is one that should not be discussed. I mean you should always wash your hands after using the bathroom, but so many people seem to think that is a rule they don’t have to follow. If anything this pandemic is teaching us otherwise.

We are indeed learning a lot about ourselves during this pandemic. The things we’ve taken for granted we no longer have, the things we miss are amplified and we’re learning that things that we thought would never be the norm have now become the new norm. Dreams can sometimes be a sign of things to come in life.

Written By Zoe Mitchell