Green sea turtle hatchlings on Thailand’s beach during the closure of beaches and parks nationwide. Credit: DMCR

EDITORIAL: The true “New Normal” to embark on

People are bypassing the true meaning of the needed “New Normal”

A crowded queue of customers waiting to enter some shopping malls on the first day after the second phase of restriction relaxation was allowed by the government yesterday sent a chill down doctors’ spines as their guards were virtually down, with no masks on their faces and no distance kept between one another!

Every one seems to have got their lives back a little more after the government has decided to move on with the second phase of the restriction relaxation, under which more than ten businesses and activities beyond basic needs have been allowed to resume.

But is quickly getting back to normal life really worth it?, considering the risk of Coronavirus infections, which have taken over 300,000 lives and infected over 4.5 million people worldwide so far.

Beyond the point concerning our own health, the Coronavirus outbreak, if suggesting anything about our consumptive lifestyle, has in the past few months clearly communicated about the earth’s threshold that humans have crossed past too far already.

With their modest presence and reduced consumption due to restrictions and lockdown measures to fight with the virus, what has become clear in sight is that nature is back.

Several parts of the world, including here Thailand, the improved air and wildlife have reclaimed their space, suggesting how things could be achieved to rebalance this planet.

So, Coronavirus disease may have caused much suffering, but it too has shown humans the right path to take and how to reverse the course of living so that the earth can be in a balance again.

Getting back to “normal” that has long been “abnormal” to other living organisms should therefore be our last option to embark on, and if we opt for a “New Normal” way of living, it too should not stop short only at our good health.

“New Normal” can be more meaningful than wearing masks, washing hands, and keeping a distance to help us all safe. It can also be powerful in changing the destructive trend of our consumption and lifestyle if we allow it to take the state of health of the environment into account.

Perhaps, only that, we can call our “New Normal” the true “New Normal”, full of meaning and power to change things for the better.