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The New Normal

Normally I would hold my tongue, but not day. I’ve been eating tuna fish out of a can wrapped in lettuce, and decided it was time to take a trip to my grocery store for some real food. I got up early and pounded the streets in Downtown LA to my grocery store that is not far from the Staples Center where they are setting up hospital space for the upcoming pandemic. Here I am minding my own business when this guy walks out of his building and coughs in the air, right in front of me. I stopped in my tracks and thought I should cross the street so I don’t walk through his germs but decided to respond, “Excuse me sir. You should cover your mouth when you cough.” He looked surprise which, quite frankly, surprised me. Are we not living in new times? Yes. Do social norms need to be adjusted?” Yes. Is my response rude? No. It would lack social consciousness if I just walked on by and didn’t say anything. Did I feel bad about my remark? No. I wonder if he felt bad or responsible for his misconduct. I wonder if my statement would change his behavior.

There has been a lot of talk about people not honoring the 6 feet apart new social norm, and you see people on the news congregating in public places like beaches and parks, and I wonder how is it possible no one says anything to these peoples faces. You’re not going to find me on a beach or in a park, but if someone is not respecting the 6 foot rule I’ll say something. I realize that reprimanding someone for coughing is probably more acceptable than saying something to someone that is not standing 6 feet away, but both are the new normal and I think by not saying something you are disrespecting yourself, and others.

In closing, like I said, the Staples Center is gearing up for what’s to come. Due to the condensed amount of people living in Downtown LA, and the homeless population who are at high risk, I think Downtown LA will be the epicenter of LA County for the virus.  Skid Row is not far from the Staples Center, and my place is dead smack in the middle, so you better believe I won’t be holding my tongue today, tomorrow, or anytime soon. I might even carry around a measuring tape next time I need to get to the store for some real food.

The New Normal

Erica Loberg

Erica Loberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She attended Columbia University in New York and graduated with a BA in English. She is a published poet and author of Inside the Insane, Screaming at the Void, What Men Should Know About Women, What Women Should Know About Men, Diamonds From The Rough , Undressed, and I'm Not Playing.

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APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2020). The New Normal. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Mar 2020
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