In general, people love to put a Kung-Fu grip on words/terms/phrases and repeat them ad nauseam to the point of exhaustion. Everything is “narrative” this or “microaggression” that or the need to “unpack” something that ain’t a suitcase.

Now, as we sit at the dawn of a new era, henceforth known as 2020 AC (After Coronavirus), we’re faced with a term that will be frequently tossed around like a groupie on a tour bus: “New Normal”- and I’m here to get you prepped for it, so you can pimp your quarantine and master this new normal.

Make no mistake; a pandemic is a beast. It brings a gun to a knife fight, buys penny candy with a Black Card and asks for cash back. Its turned life into a Simone Biles routine with flips, twists and splits happening by the hour. It’s like we stepped outside to hit the weed pen and COVID-19 slipped a collective roofie in our can of Mango White Claw and when we finally woke up in two weeks, everything was completely bonkers.

If a pandemic was a person, it would look like Ving Rhames in Pulp Faction. It has devastating power because it hits with a two piece of the actual disease AND the drastic measures taken to reduce its death march; which is the main instrument carving out our constantly shifting reality. It’s a slew of varying projections made by smart people wearing glasses and lab coats, and many of them drop a pin on mid-summer as the earliest time that America will stabilize the COVID-19 pandemic.

In preparation for this “so called new normal” as a Black Isrealite might say, here’s some tips on how to navigate this reality shift.

TIME

We should start by recalibrating our entire understanding of time, which, with the quarantine, feels completely out of wack. Personally, anything that happened prior to the quarantine seems like a loooooooong time ago! My sexual memories are playing as grainy, black and white footage in my head. They’re not even talkies, but silent movies with a bit of slapstick, which is admittedly how I enjoy my sex. Janet Jackson peeped game long ago, because it is funny how time flies when we’re having fun; and it goes by extra slow when bored.

Stop thinking about time in a linear sense when you’re under quarantine, especially if you don’t have a job and are up in the crib stressing out. Science has refuted the notion that time is simply perception or that time is a construct that doesn’t actually exist…but we do have the power to shape time! In fact, don’t align your time by the clock, but let how you spend time dictate time. If that sounds like mumbo jumbo, it’s because it is!! The simple truth is you’re gonna have a lot of time on your hands and it might seem to move at a snails pace, so get absorbed in activities to stop you from thinking about time and time will feel like it’s been sped up.

TV

You’ll be quarantined and social distancing for so long, you will inevitably start making questionable TV viewing decisions, and by questionable I’m obviously talking about Tiger King! Now that you cut cable and Hulu, you’re likely running a lean operation with just Netflix and Amazon Prime as your paid subscriptions. Once you watch nearly every good series and movie, you’ll move onto sketchier programming like the aforementioned Tiger King series, or the movie Child Of God with James Franco or the demented flick Compliance, which is showing on Tubi (free).

You’re one sick puppy, but it’s totally understandable in this new normal! Just don’t watch that vile scudder pump on Easter Sunday. Even if you can’t go to church remember the big guy is always watching…so clean up your filthy act and get your eyes out the gutter by heading over to Pornhub for the free premium offer during quarantine!

COOKING

As Nike says…”JUST DO IT”. Eating is a fundamental function that has always flourished as a social occasion, shared with family, friends and even strangers. Though it’s always been some form of eating out, home cooking has been the main source of meals; yet at the onset of 2020 AC, especially in NYC, far too many of us are eating but rarely cooking. Some people even use the oven as storage, and I get it because space is at a premium, but this new normal dictates that you getcho arse back in the kitchen and start putting heat to food.

Granted, what you cook might not taste like the dishes at your favorite restaurant, but it shouldn’t because restaurant food is often created by chefs, who are intensively trained, highly skilled artisans. When you play basketball, can you rock just like Lebron? No, but you still get out there and hoop anyway, with your broke jump shot and clumsy handle.

Virus mitigation measures included closing down restaurants, outside of pickup and delivery, which should have driven people to start cooking more frequently; but it’s too many people who still steer clear of the stove . It’s delivery everything now, with people tapping apps and clicking meals. If Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, Caviar, Seamless and Postmates are your preferred options to feed your face, you’re not only blowing money in an unstable economic environment, but you’re also shitting on Mother Nature.

If you’re clicking up meals, please take note that the plastics used in food delivery: Styrofoam clamshells, sushi trays, waxy paper pails, clear salad bowls, double-walled soup containers, sauce cups, and plastic cutlery…well that stuff doesn’t get recycled and is just killing the earth with pollution. You don’t need to cook every meal like you’re a housewife in the 1950’s, but cooking should be a necessity in your house.

Keep it simple and just make food that can go over either rice or noodles. You can make it in a big pot, with spice, herbs and, interesting seasoning and use fresh (or frozen) veggies, with or without some protein. Make a big pot and you can eat it for a few days and spend the rest of the time learning a new language or painting or studying culinary techniques, to take your cooking to a chef level.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social Media is a two-way street. Everybody has the ability to both consume content and create content, which thankfully means you can comfortably bring out your inner attention THOT during the quarantine; just fix your wig, wipe your mouth and put on a clean shirt. Indeed, everybody is going live on Zoom, Twitch, Facebook and Instagram-from DJs, singers and comics to writers, poets, pets and dancers. If you got some talent or think you got some talent or if you’re entertaining in any way, hell, you should go live.

But just because you go live, don’t mean anybody’s gonna join in. DJ D-Nice basically ruined the experience and expectations by setting the bar so high, so early in the quarantine, by having over 100k people on his #ClubQuarantine party on Instagram Live. He had luminaries and celebrities in the same chat room including Michelle Obama, Biden, Bernie, Chaka Khan, Diddy, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Lenny Kravitz, The Rock…hell, I hear he’s digital dating Halle Berry up in there!

D-Nice had Kale & Okra (Gayle & Oprah) and Snoop D O double up in the same room, which could have been awkward if the room wasn’t on the internet. BPOC (Big Profile On Campus) Mark Zuckerberg even slid thru, gave a thumbs up to the push for 100k, and didn’t cut off the stream when it reached the one hour, IG Live time limit.

But even more importantly, you can use social media to strengthen friendships during the quarantine, because you’ll have a chance to dive into your friends pages and profiles, to see what’s happening and what really matters in their lives.

But I do suggest that you stop DM-ing those conspiracy theory videos about how the virus is proof of alien life, or how the United States created it to punish China or that Kobe Bryant had the cure so they killed him! Nobody likes a conspiracy theorists…not even other conspiracy theorists! Besides, we all know Suge Knight stole the virus from an Egyptian temple, then injected it into the butts of strippers who gave it to people with lap dances. That’s why more men have it than women! Duh.

ALCOHOL

Drink it

SURVIVAL SKILLS

This pandemic can be stressful. If someone is Quarantined in an opulent mansion and you’re social distancing in a studio apartment, in a 4th floor walkup, so what. If you go live on IG and you only have ten people watching you DJ, which doesn’t include your girlfriend, who is likely at #ClubQuarantine, who cares. You should be preparing for the coming COVID-19 apocalypse anyway, which is where you can level up and become a post-apocalyptic boss! Learn some survival and hunting skills, STAT!

Can you make a fire from scratch chica? Are you good with knives? Can you find drinking water in the wilderness? Do you know how to roll a blunt? Even if we stabilize it this summer, smart people in glasses and lab coats say it could bounce back in the fall, because COVID-19 is hard to kill like Steven Segal.

The world is clearly filled with idiots that won’t take proper precautions against spreading the virus, which means that this whole thing could really go left by the time we get to Thanksgiving. Naturally, this will turn Black Friday into The Purge, so getting those survival skills popping will turn you into an asset when civilization collapses. It didn’t help that Donald Trump was calling it a hoax early on, which is what happens when the head of a country is also big on conspiracy theories. When he should have been listening to experts and prepping for a major war, Trump was playing the virus down.

If the virus rebounds in the Fall, and another quarantine is issued, but this time a mandatory, martial law lockdown; life is going to explode and our new normal will literally resemble a dystopian future, Netflix series. Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.

Keep in mind, we don’t know for certain how it’s all gonna pan out. This thing might just be a blip on the radar you talk about at a Girls Brunch later in 2020…or this new normal can become the norm and then we’re all screwed. Either way, I’m still not watching Tiger King!


To read more stories by Richard Burroughs, visit his blog, “Uncontrollable Urges,” here.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of BK Reader.

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Richards Burroughs

It's variations on my name, but it's the same human. I'm Richard Chandler Burroughs, novelist (A Rendezvous With Destiny) and blogger (Uncontrollable Urges). Richard Burroughs as a marketing strategist,...

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