Repeat the Question: What Do We Want After the Pandemic?

Claiming this moment of lost certainties for new possibilities

A history professor at Indiana University took to The Ideas pages of  The Atlantic to consider a question that’s occupying minds across the country: 

Do we really want to just go back to what we thought was normal? 

 As you start to formulate your answer, read Rebecca Spang article: “The Revolution is Under Way Already.” If there’s any correlation between social shares and hope, Spang’s work must have given many of our community members hope for what lies ahead of us from here. 

The question of normalcy and whether or not that’s what we want is going to stay in circulation. Spang has an idea about how we should approach those conversations:


As some Americans take shelter in their homes from a newly arrived threat and others put their health at risk to combat it, we can all mourn lost certainties, but we can also set about intentionally creating new possibilities. To claim this moment as a revolution is to claim it for human action.”

—Rebecca Spang, “The Revolution is Already Under Way” in The Atlantic