Now that the Southern Tier of New York and some of the counties in Northeast Pennsylvania are beginning to open up more from all the pandemic closures, we are quickly discovering that what was normal, is now a new normal. Actually I'm starting to hate that phrase 'new normal.'

For example, yesterday I was so excited to visit the place where I get my hair cut. While I know I'd be wearing my mask, I was not prepared for what seemed like I was about to walk into a maximum security prison. Okay, it was not exactly at that level, but my normal comfort level upon entering a hair salon is no longer the same.

When I got to the door, it was locked. I was not aware I needed to remain in my vehicle upon arriving, call the front deck and wait for someone to unlock the door and escort me in. The person who cuts my hair not only wears a face mask, but also a clear visor. Once I was through the front door, she immediately took my temperature, and had me wait to be escorted to a room to get my hair cut. One customer, one hairstylist per room.

I know they must be feeling the pressure much more that I, since they have to go through stringent procedures with every customer. Just the process of getting my hair cut, having to deal with working around my face mask is not easy for my hair stylist.

After she was done, I had to remain in the room to schedule my next appointment, and wait until it was okay to proceed to the front office to pay and exit. She doesn't get paid well enough to deal with this new normal at work, but we realize it's for the safety of everyone.

My next adventure will be a visit to the dentist. I just received a call from their office and was directed to read two pages of rules and regulations before my visit. Looking forward to all that, I'm sure. Welcome to the 'new normal.'

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