What happens if you don’t understand your world? When your daily customs, environment and access to resources are unrecognizable? In 2020, COVID-19 moved in and took over. The rhythm of our daily life was halted and within a few weeks, the term “New Normal” began to be used by all. Second to case counts and death rates, it was the big topic of conversation, “What will the “new normal” be like?” and “what parts of the ‘old normal’ will still exist?” “When can I resume my life?” Uncertainty was palpable with tsunami stress waves.
Fast forward to Summer 2021. Dropping infection rates and easing restrictions have allowed us to reopen, yet our operating systems still need to reboot. Therefore, we ask, “is this the ‘New normal?’” Many lawyers have become adjusted to and even comfortable with staying home, and teleworking with less social contact. For example, court appearances—which had always been in person and a big part of litigators’ routines—could now be conducted from home. When mention of returning to the office or court, or a new COVID-19 strain variant is brought up, suddenly the dark cloud of uncertainty returns. For many this gives rise to the stressful cycle we have lived and the realization that the old normal is gone and uncertainty about the ambiguous new normal.