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Scott Loftis

From the Editor

Scott Loftis is managing editor for Carroll County Newspapers. His email address is CarrollCountyNews@cox-internet.com

Opinion

The new normal

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Social distancing is easier for some folks than others.

Iíve lived alone for much of the past 12 years or so, and Iíve come to appreciate the solitude most of the time. I enjoy the peace and quiet, doing what I want when I want and not having to debate over mundane things like whatís for dinner. Yes, Iím happily divorced.

Still, even for me, the last couple of weeks have been a little different.

Iím still coming into the office every weekday but there are only a few of us here, with our lobby closed and some folks opting to work from home. There are no newsroom lunches, which had become a tradition every Monday and usually a couple of other days each week.

I miss that time socializing with the folks I work with, and I miss some of our local restaurants. When things return to normal, Iíll probably eat out every meal for a month.

Iíve been doing my best to limit all of my social interactions, in order not to contract the novel coronavirus but more importantly not to contribute to spreading it to other folks who might be more vulnerable to it. I eat lunch at home now, I havenít been inside a store in well over a week and Iíve driven 50 miles in the past two weeks. This past weekend, I had face-to-face interaction with exactly one person for less than five minutes between 1 p.m. Friday and 7:30 a.m. Monday.

I find myself napping more often on the weekends, and I have a hard time finding anything interesting to watch on television with the sports world on hold. If there was college and pro football to tide me over, I might not even notice that I was cut off from the rest of civilization. Instead, I spend a lot of time watching news coverage of the pandemic, and Gov. Asa Hutchinsonís daily news conferences have become must-see TV. Or must-see YouTube, anyway.

Thankfully, Iím a decent cook and Iím in no danger of running out of groceries anytime soon.

Iím not going to starve.

I havenít been able to hug my grandsons in a couple of months, but FaceTime makes that a little easier to endure. When this is all over, I intend to make up for all those missed hugs.

Iím sure Iím not the only one who is still adjusting to the new normal. As I said, Iím used to spending time alone. And then of course, there are probably lots of folks whoíd love to have some time alone these days, with entire families spending much more time at home.

All of this is not intended to sound like complaining. This is what we have to do in order to protect ourselves and our families and neighbors. Itís an adjustment, certainly, but if it helps keep other folks safe, count me in.

Now, Iím ready for a nap.