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What Will Be The New “Normal”?

I will start this out by stating that my crystal ball is no better than anyone else’s.  My belief is that our “lockdown” will be over sometime toward the middle of May to the end of June.  Most businesses will reopen including fitness facilities, restaurants, mall stores, movies theaters etc.  Life will start returning to “normal”.

However, I do not see the “new normal” being anything close to what the “old normal “ was like.  For example, live sporting events or concerts that draw tens of thousands of people, all in very close proximity: how many of you feel comfortable attending these?  How about companies that have seen their workers maintain productivity from home:  perhaps those companies will want to keep some of their employees working in this manner, thereby reducing the overhead of office space.  The “new normal” will also include a good number of businesses not reopening, most of these being the “Mom-Pop” shops, private practice doctors and other smaller operations that were not able to withstand the financial devastation that is occurring to their businesses.

Perhaps a good “new normal” coming out of all of this will be people paying more attention to their overall health in the attempt to become one of the “not high risk” people as opposed to being lumped in the group that have a much better chance of a bad outcome when the next virus hits us.  On the immediate basis, I know that many people have been gaining weight due to stress eating.  I had a patient provide a very funny line yesterday, comparing the “Freshman 15” pounds of weight gain due to college kids drinking alcohol/eating lots of pizzas to the “Covid 19” pounds of weigh gain due to adults drinking alcohol and consuming lots of carbs.

However, when we start emerging from this crisis into the “new normal” perhaps people will be more serious and focused on their weight control efforts.  I am not an epidemiologist astute with numbers, but with obesity related co-morbidities killing over 400,000 Americans a year, any big dent into the obesity epidemic could prevent many thousands of people from dying each year.   

I hope your “new normal” includes new and invigorated efforts to stay healthy and happy.

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