‘New normal’ has arrived

I hereby make this declaration, which is that I believe we have entered the era of the “new normal.”

What’s more, in due time — which might arrive much sooner than we expect — the “new normal” will just become, um, “normal.”

As I ran my errands this morning to the Post Office, to the garden supply shop, to the grocery store, I witnessed hundreds of people wearing masks. I covered my own mug with a mask.

We keep two masks in our truck, one for me and one for her.

It is now becoming routine for us to reach for the masks in our truck, strap them to our noggin and go about doing whatever essential business we intend to do.

This is what has become the “new normal” in the age of the coronavirus pandemic. We are living through a plague, folks. It ain’t pretty. It ain’t the least bit fun … but am getting resigned to an unmistakable fact, which is that this is the way it’s going to be for, well, maybe for the duration.

The new normal also includes a new way of watching arena sports. Football, baseball, basketball, hockey, track and field, motor racing all likely will occur in a different sort of forum. I am trying to imagine when we’ll be able to sit in a stadium packed with fans cheering on our favorite team. The same concern arises with plays, movies and all manner of outdoor festivals.

Indeed, my hometown of Portland, Ore., had to postpone its annual Rose Festival from June to September. The roses are blooming in June and the City of Roses honors that glorious season with festivities over several days that include the Grand Floral Parade that draws close to a million spectators into downtown Portland.

How in the world do they keep that up with the threat of a deadly viral infection lurking — potentially! — in the individual standing right next to you along a packed parade route?

So, here we are. Welcome to the new normal. Let’s get used to it.