Less ‘back to normal,’ more re-imagining post-pandemic life

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Springtime. A time of new beginnings. A time of rebirth. And by the height of summer 2021, a majority of Americans may be vaccinated from COVID-19.

Follow the science. Follow the experts. Eventually, life will transition. The cold ground will thaw.

What will you do with your “new normal” once the vaccine gives you a fresh start? Will we pick up old habits without looking back? How long will our appreciation for newfound freedom last?

Here are some hopes for a brave new world once we put it back together.

Eye Contact
I’m biased because my eyes are blue and people think that I’m therefore profoundly beautiful on the inside, but you really do learn a lot about a person by looking them deeply in the eyes. It’s not safe yet, but because of our short attention spans and those devices in our pockets, eye contact really hasn’t been en vogue for quite a while anyway.

Peregrination
Remember being a teenager and driving around for no reason? Wanderlust. A thirst for experience. Let’s bring that back. Rekindle our love affair with the night mysterious. Stand back in awe of the cinemascope that is life. Don’t take a selfie and tag yourself. Just roam.

Loitering
Stay put. Sip a beverage. Read a newspaper or magazine. Read a room.

Whether your mind is in the past present or future, keep your body in one place. Watch the molecules move around the room and rearrange themselves. It may manifest as silly or groovy or cute or ugly, but you’re all in one place together and no longer afraid of each other!

Don’t watch the TV show where the couple meets at the coffee shop. Be the TV show where the couple meets at the coffee shop.

Subverting Cliques
Cliques are a social disease, a manifestation of a collective neurosis. But people still do them out of stale tradition and bad habit, like racism or hegemony.

No more. Walk up to a stranger, acquaintance, old flame or one-night stand and say something. Tell yourself you’re drunk and newly empowered by your liquid courage. Pay no mind to their friends staring open-mouthed at your audacity. Don’t even look at them. Don’t you dare give them your eyeball nerve endings. See what happens.

Go to ‘Church’
Y’all need Jesus. Just kidding. I mean, you do, you heathens, but in the broader sense. Have a communal experience. Engage in activity that connects you with humanity, with something beyond humanity. Experience something that transcends this mortal coil.

My church is music. What does it for you? Is it mom jeans and yoga? Is it Catholicism because you get off on the ritual and repression? Is it a dance floor? Is it volunteering? Is it a skate park?

You know what it is. Now go get after it and bring me a higher love.

Write It Down
As you venture into the new world in all its forms, take note and take notes. Think about the things you forgot and even took for granted before COVID. Notice what you notice. Do it for yourself and your own posterity.

Scott King is an LGBTQ writer and thinker living in Atlanta.

This column also ran in Q ATLus Magazine. Read the latest issue here:

Pick up QATLus each week at LGBTQ and allied venues around Atlanta, and find fresh content right here every day.

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