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The New Normal, But Not Really

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The new normal.

I connect through FaceTime, through Zoom, ‘seeing’ family and friends but not really seeing them. I now accept the image of people important to me as little squares, their reflections on my computer screen. I witnessed an on-line graduation, where a cousin moved her tassel from the right to the left in the traditional, symbolic gesture of officially completing her high school requirements. I was honored to ‘attend’ a very successful Harvard Ph.D. dissertation defense, in which the newly minted ‘doctor’ explained his years of tireless and important sociological research while the muted audience smiled at him in awe. I participated in my dear sister’s 70th birthday surprise party, where all of her family and friends popped onto the screen to celebrate her, so differently than I had planned when I had dreamed of a celebratory ‘girl’s get-away.’

I ‘attend’ the new-normal, weekly social gatherings, with friends as we share elements of our week while some of us toast our wine glasses to the computer screen. Until recently, I hadn’t seen my children and........

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