NORMANTOWN NEWS - By Lisa Hayes-Minney

When 9-11 happened, I spent weeks in front of the television, hooked on media reports and updates, watching that plane hit Tower 1 again and again and again. After a few months, I called our television service and had it disconnected. I just had to tune out. I had to stop obsessing.

I have found a similar behavior with our current situation. The first few weeks, I tuned in to the daily live broadcasts by our governor and the weekly live updates from our county Office of Emergency Services. I researched every conspiracy theory, Frank watched daily news broadcasts. I learned about Coronavirus, COVID, World Health Organization guidelines, the different tests, and their accuracy rates, etcetera.

Social distancing. Got it. Safer at home. Got it. Wear a mask in public. Got it. This virus is not going away. Got it. Boil everything down, and it is all fairly simple. This is the new normal. Get used to it. Everything else is politics, propaganda, or media hype.

I was comforted at first by our governor’s broadcasts, even found them entertaining. But now, he’s all out of sorts because someone made mistakes that undermine our trust in him. That is when I tuned out of the live broadcasts and took to scanning the media summations. Our poor OES director started looking frustrated and tired. I don’t even know if he’s still doing his Friday night broadcasts…

I prefer to tackle the new normal without the drama, without the hype, without the video these days. I social distance, stay safer at home, wear my mask in public, sanitize my hands frequently. Now, in addition to my collection of chapsticks, I have a growing selection of hand sanitizers. In my car, in my house, in my office, in my tote bags. I have an N95 mask, disposable masks, a handmade mask, scarves, bandanas, and neck wraps. I have returned to work, visited friends (all of whom have followed guidelines) and have traveled out of state to check on my mother. I have made an effort to follow the World Health Organization’s guidelines.

I am trying to acclimate to the new normal, and still find myself frustrated with the way certain masks constantly fog up my glasses, still get frustrated with those who do not seem to grasp the guidelines or consider them. I hear conspiracy theories; have at least one of my own. I see people who are afraid of the current state of our nation, others who are angry and/or defensive. I do not watch mainstream news. I have tried to avoid it since 9-11. I am not ignorant of national and world news; I just don’t use American corporate television media as my main source.

I sometimes think one of the worst facets of COVID is that it hit during an election year. Everything becomes muddled and murky. I cannot focus on the hype, on things I cannot control, things I can do little about. I must assess the situation and determine what I can control. What impact can I make in my little world, what small steps can I take to process fear, anger, and resentment and move on?

I can do my best at work, and get our home in order, or at least I can try. Our hens are getting big, and we will soon have chicken and duck eggs daily. I see hay going up throughout the county. The tomato plants in the garden will (hopefully) fill a large collection of jars later this season. As Minnie Aumonier said, “When the world wearies and society fails to satisfy, there is always the garden.”

Normantown Historical Community Center will be holding an internet auction for a good portion of the furniture, etc. they do not need. The auction, once launched, will run for three weeks. In addition, they are planning to sell pepperoni rolls during deer season. The new roof on the brick building is finished, and new LED lights have been installed in the brick building and the gymnasium. Please keep your donations coming!

Donations to NHCC can be made online at   or mailed to NHCC, 3031 Hackers Creek Road, Jane Lew 26378, c/o Margaret.

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Lisa Hayes-Minney is an author, teacher, librarian, and artisanal publisher. For more information about her workshops, services, and books visit  To sign up for Lisa's free seasonal newsletter, visit