We’ve been hearing this phrase because of COVID-19 pandemic. While the extent of the effect came as a shock to many, some were just quick in mind-setting that our situation, in general, will not be the same as ever. Thus, embracing the “new normal” just came out naturally.

During the rise of COVID -19 cases in the Philippines, the country was put into “lockdown” through Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). It is an enforced policy and ensures most people stay at home. When it is relaxed, it is essential that people stick to measures that decrease the risk of transmission even if some are allowed outside their homes. Offices and public transport remain potential hot spots, so universal masking, social distancing, and frequent hand washing need to be practiced. Otherwise, cases are sure to surge and the working population will bring the virus to their homes and their communities.

COVID-19 has not been eliminated, the steady number of new daily cases, as opposed to the overwhelming wave in other countries, shows we shut down just in time. But this war is not yet won. The virus is still around.

In my opinion, the new normal is up to us or how we adapt to the new normal. Minus the police enforcement, social distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand washing can actually be done by all of us, with or without the threat of COVID-19. It might sound OA, but for one, it is being just self-cautious and it is not wrong.

Let’s keep this in mind. The fight will not be over until a vaccine arrives or there is enough herd immunity. A vaccine is at least a year out. Trials for effective treatment are ongoing and will show some results in one to three months. It is expected that the country has no choice but to adopt the new normal.

How we adapt to change can actually have a very positive effect on our personal growth. We can choose to view change as an opportunity to broaden and deepen our personal experience, to strengthen our own resiliency and become more empathetic of others challenged with the same situation. Rather than being afraid of change or avoiding it, we can use difficult or challenging times to grow.

The success of the new normal and what happens next depends on how well we can ease the risk and contain further spread. Let us do it together.