• Tue. Jun 22nd, 2021

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    The new normal

    The new normal is a state in which an economy, society, etc. is unraveled in the result of a crisis, when it is different from what it was before the onset of the crisis.  The term has been used in connection with the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the 2008–2012 global recession, and the Covid-19 pandemic. 

    For the First Time

    Author Robert A. Heinlein adopted the term in his 1966 novel, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, with a character saying lunar colonists:

    Citizens, inquiries may reach you through your friend neighbors. I dream you will comply willingly; it will speed the day when I can bow out and life can get back to normal — a new normal, free of the Authority, free of guards, free of troops placed on us, free of passports and explorations and arbitrary arrests.

    2005 avian influenza

    The phrase was used in 2005 by Peter M. Sandman and Jody Lanard in connection to strategies of manipulation of ways of the public towards avian influenza. They understood that the preliminary, generally temporary, fearfulness of a novel risk such as a flu pandemic is something to be supervised, that this initial period is a “teachable moment” and offers the chance of creating a “new normal.

    2008 Economic Crisis

      The phrase was used in the context of alerts from economists and policymakers that the industrial economy would reinstate to its new ways after the 2007-2008 financial crisis. 

      On January 29, 2009, the Philadelphia City Paper quoted Paul Glover (activist) as citing to the need for “new norms” in community development when submitting the cover story “Prepare the Best”. 

      Al-Arian’s speech was first used by journalists Rich Miller and Matthew Benjamin in quoting a Bloomberg News article on May 18, 2008: “The post-subprime economy usually means subpar growth in the US.” 

      Muhammad A.  The 2010 Per Jacobson Lecture, chaired by L-Arian, was entitled “New Normal Navigation in Industrial Countries.”  In the L-Irian speech, he stated: “We used this term as an attempt to move the debate beyond the notion that the crisis is just a fleshly wound … Instead, the crisis was cut to the bone.

    2012 China’s economic slowdown

    Since 2012, China’s economy has shown a marked slowdown, with growth rates declining from double digit levels (before the 2007-2009 financial crisis) to around 7% in 2014. In 2014, a statement by Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, indicated that China was entering a ‘new normal’.  This term was subsequently popularised by the press and came to refer to expectations of 7% growth rates in China for the foreseeable future. It was indicative of the Chinese government’s anticipation of moderate but perhaps more stable economic growth in the medium-to-long term.

    2012 U.S. presidential election

    The term has subsequently been used by ABC News,BBC News, the New York Times, and formed part of a question by Candy Crowley, the mediator of the Second U.S. presidential debate of 2012.

    2020 COVID-19 pandemic

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, the term new normal has an increasing use to refer the changes of human behavior changes during or after this pandemic. Doctors at the University of Kansas Health System expect that the pandemic will change daily life for most people. This includes restricting person-to-person contact, like handshakes and hugs. Besides, maintaining distance from others or social distancing, including a boost of working from home and online shopping in general, will likely stick around.

    *The examples and perspective in this section may not include all significant viewpoints.


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