When All is Over, What Then?

When all of this is over, are we going hedonistic or are we trapped by FONO?

Here is a fun video that talks about life in the 1920s after influenza and WWI ended — a time marked by lots of jazz, dancing, and drinking — and predicts our life in the post-Covid world.

Going completely hedonistic is not exactly what happened to Miranda at the end of the book Pale Horse, Pale Rider. Miranda reminds me of a new acronym I came across the other day: FONO aka Fear of Normal.

As Miranda recovers and prepares to return to a normal life, we see that she’s almost reluctant to leave the hospital where all her sickness and suffering happened. Her world was shattered and then put by together to become the “new normal.” There was no more Liberty Bond that obnoxious men forced her to buy, no Adam to go dancing with after a boring workday, … Fear is what we see on her face as she steps “one foot in either world” — the old days and the new (207).

Similarly, as we finally see the hope of getting out of our pandemic mode into a normal life today, lots of us are thinking the same thing — FONO. As the author of this article by the Washington Post says, when he gets invited to a social event, his mind races: “What about masks? Will there be hugs? Handshakes? Do I remember how to make small talk? What would I possibly wear?” I’m sure many of you reading this post in the late-Covid world or post-Covid world will relate to this. FONO isn’t a fear of the normal that we know. It’s a fear of a “new normal” that we are only beginning to have a glimpse of.

So, hedonism or FONO after Covid? Some of us seem to be standing in one of the two camps already. Either way, only future people can tell us how we really fared at the end of Covid, though I do hope no “mandatory sobriety” isn’t coming at us down the road 🙂

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