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It’s been barely over a week since the U.S.A. started taking COVID-19 seriously, and already my social media feeds are full of “when do we get back to normal.” Y’all, I hope we never do. Normal was killing us. It was killing the planet. I hope it’s gone for good.

I hope this breaks the back of “Protestant work ethic” capitalism.

I hope we learn which jobs are actually important and start paying people an appropriate amount to do them.

I hope we learn that creativity, not a 9-5 job, is how we survive and thrive together.

I hope we remember that missing a rent or mortgage payment now and then doesn’t hurt the bank or landlord in the slightest but can save someone’s life and home. I hope we figure out that this doesn’t mean lenders should just stack up that unpaid money and try to collect it later. If it’s not there now, it’s not gonna be there later.

I hope we learn to cook together more, to do our shopping all at once, to walk outside whenever we can. I hope we learn to fight and get over it instead of pretending everything’s ok because we barely see each other. I hope some people get divorced and that others see their family bonds strengthen and deepen.

I hope we learn to communicate more, and in more ways. I hope people get the fuck over seeing a typo now and then when they’re talking to a loved one.

I hope we learn that drug pricing is brutal and arbitrary and needs to be controlled.

I hope we remember that kids don’t need to be packed into classrooms for eight hours a day to learn what they can learn in two hours. I hope kids are left to their own devices and figure out things to do. I hope they teach adults how to do those things.

I hope we remember that economies die not when banks and airlines stop working but when people have nothing to spend or share.

I hope we learn that it’s less expensive to save lives with cheap or free medical care than it is to force people to choose between food and medicine.

I hope we learn to ask before touching or approaching others, always.

I hope we remember the value of services that let us stay independent in our homes and preserve them for seniors and people who have difficulty leaving the house because of disability or illness.

I hope we remember that people can and will and should shun instead of admire those who hoard resources at the expense of others. Literal and metaphorical resources.

I hope we remember which jobs you actually need to be in an office for (hint: almost none). I hope the office job never comes back in its original form.

I hope we learn which services can and should be free for the preservation of life, sanity, and society. (Spoilers: medicine (including mental health care) and education at a minimum.)

I hope that as “did the job get done” becomes the metric instead of “do I see you” we finally adopt that 4-5 hour workday that’s actually productive instead of dragging it out for another performative 4-5 hours plus commute.

I hope the real estate market plummets and people can afford homes. (I also hope for mandatory loan forgiveness for mortgage amounts over property value on primary residences, because I’m not a fucking monster.)

I hope normal never comes back.