There Is No “Over”, There Is Only “New”

Health workers during the ‘Spanish’ influenza pandemic.

“When this is over…”

It’s a phrase we’re hearing or saying often, of late, frequently followed by a litany of activities to resume after things return to normal.

I’ll admit, it’s comforting to dream of a time when we’ll do what we did as we did before.

Unfortunately “when this is over…” is a lie.

There will be no “over”.

There will be no magic moment, no point in time, no line in the sand, no relaxation of rules, that will flip a switch from “now” to “the way it was”. It will be a slow, lengthy process, and it will not lead us back to a past we remember.

The result will be a future we choose to create.

“When this is over…” is at best, a lie, and at worst, an excuse to put your life on hold.


Whatever it is you’re waiting for, assume it will never come to pass.

Waiting to start a project until “this is over”? Start. Now. Do it with the world as it is today, and then as change happens, adjust.

Whatever it is you’re waiting for, figure out how to work with it as it is today.

Waiting to get fit until “this is over”? Figure out how to do it now and in the days following. As things change, adjust what you do as appropriate.

Whatever it is you’re waiting for, make it your mission to watch for, help with, and deal with the inevitable changes leading to whatever it becomes tomorrow.

Desperately wanting to eat out at a restaurant? Get take out and make your experience at home. Support your local restaurants now, and think of more ways to keep doing so as they slowly open or change how they do business.

Those who are most resistant to change, who are the most unwilling to adapt, are the ones who’ll suffer the most as the world continues to move forward and change around them.

Move forward, now, with today’s constraints and opportunities. Adapt as those constraints and opportunities change.

This is how it’s always been.

Even “before”.

3 thoughts on “There Is No “Over”, There Is Only “New””

  1. Mostly good advice, Leo, but one can tell you don’t have little grandkids. Ours live on the other side of the country. For safety reasons, we can’t go there and they can’t come here, and the time will have to come when it becomes safe(r) to travel before any of us are willing to do it. This old granddad certainly misses all those hugs, and while Facetime, Skype, Zoom et al make it bearable, there’s nothing like the real thing.

    All the rest, though, I concur.

    • I think you’re missing my point. “The time may never come…” is out of your control. Don’t let that stop you from exploring all the alternatives. Sounds like you are, which is great (Zoom, et al.) Are there other things that you could do? What would you do differently today if you knew that you would never be able to travel again in your lifetime? Those are the kinds of things I want people to think about. While I expect travel to resume at some point, I don’t want people to use “I can’t travel” as an excuse not to do/try/look for alternatives or to put their lives on hold.

      Totally get where you’re at. I don’t have grandkids (or kids), but there are most definitely relatives that I would go visit were it not for our current situation. Rather than waiting for and planning on future travel, though, I’m doing my best to remain connected to them today.

  2. As I read this, I was surprised to realize that there WERE some aspects of my life that were waiting till this whole nightmare was over. Thanks for the reality check – I will review life today and re-think what I CAN do about it. I have noticed other people who may be doing the same thing, so I will pass this on to my friends. Thanks again.

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