All things, good and bad, eventually end. As we await the present pandemic to appear in our rear view mirror, we wonder what the landscape will be like when the ‘new normal’ arrives. How will our old institutions fare, such as our churches, sports teams, theaters, restaurants, bars, etc.

There is bound to be some leakage when patrons have been absent from former activities such a long time. Church attendance may suffer for some, especially when one’s allegiance hung by a thread in the pre-pandemic days. Others bound by their love of pastor, choir, or coffee and doughnuts may flock back remembering Peter’s wise words, “To whom (else) would we go.”

As for sports teams, the Padres loom as the only major franchise left in San Diego, but too public squabbling over money by multi-millionaires (owners and players alike) left a bitter taste in our collective mouths. And then the horrible rule changes enacted to spice up and shorten baseball games, may serve to keep fans disenfranchised. The National League succumbed to the American League abomination of a designated hitter. This means now no pitcher in either league will ever bat, freeing the twirler to compose ‘chin music’ with no regard to retaliation.

How about the new rule about placing a runner on second base in every inning of an over-inning game? Citing an old tradition someone should cry out to the baseball commissioner, “Say it isn’t so, Mr. Manfred, say it isn’t so!” Surely the new rule will end games sooner, but it is not baseball. It’s expediency. If less fans attend Petco Park, so be it.

Theaters are still dark at this time, so folks have adjusted. Despite paying a king’s ransom for cable access, we have slowly learned to cull good entertainment from the recesses of television like HBO, Netflix, Showtime, Amazon, Prime, Hulu, PBS and a host of competing venues, all in the comfort of our homes. The road back to the silver screen may not be swift, if at all.

In regard to restaurants and bars, I do feel badly for the herky-jerky treatment they have been subject to at the inept hands of state and county enforcers – “Eat inside/eat outside only/takeout only”….it is amazing restaurants are still in business.

Will our beloved institutions, the churches, baseball, theaters, restaurants, bars etc. all rebound? Surely, but slowly, for ‘absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder.’ Public relation folks will have to work overtime to create an acceptable ‘new normal’ from what was once the backbone of our former lives.

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