Let’s be clear: something terrible and destabilizing happened to us, and something like it, or something else, might well happen again. Hundreds of thousands of people died. Our Capitol was invaded. Our democracy remains at risk. For millions of Americans, there has been no recovery, and for them the new normal is an ongoing state of panic. No matter what the charts show, people are still unemployed or fending off the creditors unleashed by the wreckage of their businesses.
For many Americans, the recovery is happening inside a pressure cooker. For others, a year of their lives was given over to something that can’t be mentioned, or that never happened.
Thinking about it that way, I’m slightly less astonished that the neighborhood supermarket, the place where we go to find the necessities for our families and our future, a ordinarily pleasant place where ordinary humans gather, should have become, in this new normal, the new arena for combat.