In his play The Tempest, William Shakespeare penned the lines for Miranda in Act 5, Scene 1, "How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in it!" And Prospero replies, "'Tis new to thee."
Miranda speaks the words out of innocence and exposure to what is, to her, a new world.
World-weary and often jaded Shakespeare wrote the line with his characteristic irony.
Centuries later, we who were perhaps as innocent as Miranda, are finding our way in a brave new world, one different than any of us have known before.
In what may be the final week of #StayathomeMissouri, the world around us has, to quote another poet, William Butler Yeats, changed, changed utterly.
In our society, we no longer shake hands, ending a centuries old tradition that goes back to 5th Century BC in Greece where it was a sign of peace that showed no weapons. I doubt social hugs and air kisses will return any time soon.
Masks are more than a fashion statement - they are a protection against COVID-19 as well as any other communicable diseases that may be making the rounds. In many countries, they have been a common sight for a long time and that may become the norm here too.
The way we shop has changed. Although I was using grocery pickup service before the pandemic, I've continued and now also use Insta Cart for delivery. My in-store shopping has been limited to Family Market - and it's more vital than ever we support our local businesses during these times.
Dining out is another memory. I've done delivery or carryout a few times each week and will continue to do so, because, again, we have to support our local small businesses if we want them around on the other side of this.
I'm growing my hair out at this point and most days I pull it back and up it up like a 1800's schoolmarm. Since I've never colored my hair, that's one thing I haven't had to worry about. My piebald auburn and gray is all natural.
Church has been virtual since March - the last service I attended at church was on Sunday, March 15. I'm not sure when we may be able to return to the pews but with the expectation that social distancing will continue for awhile, I have trouble imagining how we'll put a six foot distance between each parishioner.
I've been working from home for seven weeks and counting. That has pluses and minuses. The commute is short - from the coffee pot to the table where I have my Macbook set up. Unless I'm heading for an interview - which I still do on occasion - my work attire is jeans and my favorite T-shirts, no make-up. At this point, I'm told by the powers that be far above my pay grade that this will continue for awhile.
Yes, it's a brave new world. one that takes a lot of adjustment and adaption.
Old dogs - like me - are reluctant to change but here we are and so we go forward, one step at a time.
-Lee Ann Murphy is the community editor for The Neosho Daily News and The Aurora Advertiser. She is also a novelist.