Before the virus, we were encouraged to be creative by thinking outside the box. That usually meant examining ideas for another angle or someone else’s point of view. The pandemic, however, has accelerated our trajectory out of the box. In fact, we were pushed. Whether we wanted to or not, many governing bodies, arts organizations, organizations and eateries were forced to devise new ways of meeting and entertaining if they hoped to sustain themselves.

The other choice, however, was to stay inside the box, which actually turned out to be the old normal. Staying inside that box meant resisting calls to lock down, refusing to wear masks and clustering as before in bars and restaurants. Unfortunately, those who insisted on the old normal have been struggling with anger and resentment, and now, in some places, they are apparently spreading the virus.

Janet M. Powers is MSAC presiding officer and professor emerita at Gettysburg College.

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