We’ve been feeling some wanderlust lately for a return to normal.

That wishfulness sometimes grows so strong that it becomes an ache in our hearts. In fact, at times it turns into a longing so deep that we even want to turn off the TV and the cable news and find an escape from the year of the abnormal.

We clearly are feeling some wanderlust for a return to normal. We suspect we are not alone. So many people seem to want to pretend that the threat of COVID-19 is not what it seems. They’re certainly wishing we could return to normal.

We all do. Not just the wishful thinkers ready to plunge into crowds without a mask. All of us do. Maybe a vaccine will free us. We’re counting on a vaccine to free us.

Meanwhile, abnormal lies all around us, and it’s not just the pandemic and it’s not just this year.

Somehow, the politics of the far right has become the politics of the right. And the politics of the far left has become the politics of the left.

Somehow, expertise has become a shortcoming. Somehow, repetitive lies have become reality. Somehow, human failings have become intolerable, no matter the age, no matter the scope.

We demonize instead of argue. We don’t listen. We don’t offer respect. And we don’t concede we could be wrong. It is what is normal today. But it shouldn’t be the normal for tomorrow.

How do we change that?