And Now, FONO


Back in 2000, FOMO — Fear of Missing Out — came into being. The acronym was supposed to describe the feeling that something’s happening and you are not a part of it.

This year, I saw FONO popping up online. A writer in The Washington Post used the term FONO to mean Fear of Normal. AS things somewhat return to a kind of normal, some people who have become used to the stress, social isolation, and emotional ups and downs of a pandemic year are feeling uncomfortable about a return to normal.

I follow the science and I know that science changes, as it should. But the changing science of COVID causes additional confusion and fear. Infections and death numbers were dropping. Vaccinations were rising. But then this summer cases went back up just when cities, states and individuals decided we could act pretty normally again. CDC guidelines keep changing. Politicians keep reinterpreting the guidelines or coming up with their own. It is more difficult to reinstate restrictions than it is to initiate them. And much of the return to normalcy is clearly more economically-based than healthcare-based.

Should we move more slowly with our post-pandemic recovery? What impact would that have on the spread of COVID and its variants? What effect would it have on the economy? What psychological effect would it have on health and the economy?

Has your fear of missing out on life the past year and a half now become a fear of returning to normal?

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A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

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