Tri-City Ledger -

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By Joe Thomas
Ledger Editor 

Things will never be the same again


April 16, 2020

I saw a post on Facebook last week that made me laugh. Whoever originally posted it said things must be getting back to normal because they had started getting those calls informing them about their extended car warranties.

I hadn't really thought about it, but I haven't gotten one of those calls in several weeks. Two days after reading the post, I got one. I got another one the next day.

What I didn't miss were the political calls we would have been bombarded with a few weeks ago when Alabama was still on track for its March 31 runoff elections.

Most of those calls center around questions like 'would you be more favorable or less favorable' to vote for someone if I knew this or that. If I'm not busy I sometimes listen and answer questions but I change my answers sometimes on the next call to keep them off guard.

That's why I don't trust political polls because I've talked to people who do the same thing I do.

But part of me misses those calls because when they start back in full force it will be a sign that we have returned to some sort of normalcy. If we are able to have those runoff elections on July 14 the phone lines will explode in June.

I've had discussions with several people about returning to normal, but then again I wonder if we ever will.

I'm not trying to compare the two by any stretch, but our lives changed after the 9-11 attacks and our lives changed after mass shootings at schools and theaters. Some sort of innocence was lost due to those happenings.

All through life, things change for better and for worse. I turned 62 last month and was talking to some friends of mine. We talked about how we were turned loose in our neighborhoods as long as we showed back up at the house about dark. Our parents didn't worry much because if you acted a fool down the street a neighbor would take a belt to your behind. Those days are gone.

For some reason our parents knew about the beating we got down the street before we got home.

Social distancing when I was growing up until I graduated from college would have been difficult. It may not be as hard on the current generation because they spend most of their time talking with their friends through text and Facebook.

Things will change in the post COVID-19 years as well. Fist and elbow bumps may soon replace handshakes and hugs.

Even when this is over, my bet is many people will have second thoughts about getting on a cruise ship. I've already heard from some who say they will never get on one of those ships again.

Then we get to the big money maker and social gathering problems – sports. Especially college football in the south.

I listen to a lot of sports radio talk shows while driving up and down the road and since they don't have much to talk about right now the conversation centers around when sporting events will resume. The thought of no college football this season brings people to tears on the radio.

I have to pass Flomaton-Hurricane Park several times a day coming to and from work and leaving again. It's sad not to see people playing softball and baseball, a group shooting hoops, young children on the playground, somebody playing tennis, others walking or jogging around the walking trail or somebody trying to catch a fish off the pier.

When we get the green light, there will still be some fear in people packing in with 100,000 other people at Bryant-Denny or Jordan-Hare stadiums.

I went to the first football game played at Bryant-Denny after the 9-11 attacks. I could see snipers on top of Tutwiler dorm outside the stadium and not a single airplane flew over advertising a restaurant or bar.

Things will be different in the post COVID-19 era with the fear that another virus will emerge. Some social distancing will become the norm for at least a while.

We will get through this, but like other major events that happened before, we'll never be the same.


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