Katie McDowell

Please say this, too, shall pass

There are certain trendy phrases that I can’t stand.

“Throw shade.” “Spill the tea.” “Self-care.” “Real talk.”

I don’t know whether I dislike these buzzwords more because they’re so overused, or because of the type of social media conversations where they tend to crop up.

Lately, it’s “the new normal.” Which, absolutely, is irritating for its ubiquitousness.

But also because there are so many things being normalized right now that shouldn’t be.

And no, I don’t mean having to socially and physically distance from loved ones.

I don’t mean not seeing my friends for four months (and counting).

I’m not talking about wearing a strip of cloth across my face, uncomfortable though it may be sometimes.

I refer not to the myriad pastimes I’ve had to scrap or trips I’ve been forced to cancel due to this virus.

Those things I can handle, for as long as I need to handle them.

What I can’t deal with — what keeps me up at night, boils my blood over my morning coffee, and breaks my heart at every hour in between — is the cruelty and selfishness I see on display. Every single day.

Behavior that’s somehow not only become accepted, but celebrated in some circles.

I simply can’t wrap my mind around it.

At what point did a whole faction of us decide we didn’t give a fig about the welfare of others?

That not only are we deaf to the pleas of the vulnerable, the downtrodden, the victimized, the overworked and the sick — we’re proud of it, damn it.

’Cause we’re Americans!

What is this madness?

Grown adults throwing tantrums, mocking and cussing at adolescent ice cream shop employees until they sobbed, for wearing face masks while working.

A group of people threatening to lynch a Black man on the Fourth of July. In the year 2020.

Waving handguns and assault rifles at protestors walking by on the street. Or running them over with SUVs.

Calling people paranoid for following basic health guidelines during a worldwide pandemic.

I’ve seen episodes of “Black Mirror” less dark than this.

And oh my word, don’t get me started on the comment section.

There is nowhere more filled with hate, vitriol and unnecessary meanness than the comment section. (The same holds true for terrible grammar and horrible spelling, but that’s another column.)

All those miserable keyboard warriors out there, hurling slurs, barbs and petty insults at each other over literally almost anything. On posts about literally almost anything.

Is this really who we are now?

God, I hope not.

I pray constantly: Please let it pass — a phase we eventually grow out of, just like the petulant, spoiled teenagers we resemble.

Because while it may be prevalent, there is absolutely nothing normal about it.

Katie McDowell is the enterprise editor/lifestyles columnist for The Dominion Post. Email kmcdowell@dominionpost.com.