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National Foundation to End Senior Hunger News - The New Normal

Clubs and Organizations

April 29, 2021


The “new normal” is a phrase that we have all heard before, particularly in recent months, and that the majority of us have probably used ourselves at least once. As we listen or speak, it’s unlikely that we ponder its meaning too deeply or consider it to be the oxymoron and hackneyed expression that it actually is. If you are scratching your head about that characterization of the currently popular term, a bit of history should set the record straight

“New normal” is not a relatively new idiom in the American vernacular. Its first public use was in 1918 and the reference then was to social and economic conditions surrounding World War I. Since then there have been a number of public reappearances of the term, all of which are too numerous to mention here. Notable examples are references to the 2005 avian flu epidemic, the 2008 global financial crisis and now, of course, to the COVID-19 pandemic. In each case, the new normal describes an unwelcome event and/or situation that has caused or is expected to require or compel major changes in lifestyle, social behavior and overall expectations.

Surely, humanity is at that point now -- even as we hope we are seeing that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel and as we anticipate a return to a more structured, secure and peaceful life. But what about that return and what relevance is that question to senior nutrition programs across this country?

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