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Keller @ Large: When Do We Start Getting Back To ‘Normal?’

By Jon Keller, WBZ-TV
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Site of first explosion of Boston Marathon attacks on Boylston Street. (Photo from Bernice Corpuz)

Site of first explosion of Boston Marathon attacks on Boylston Street. (Photo from Bernice Corpuz)

420x316-grad-keller2 Jon Keller
Veteran Boston political commentator Jon Keller is heard every weekday...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Here’s a question for you – when do we start getting back to normal?

That depends on how you define “normal.”

If it means reverting to your regular routines, then the truth is, most of us started getting back to normal almost immediately after the horror at the Marathon. We went to work or school, to the supermarket and the car wash, and conducted our daily business as best we could, at least until millions of us went into lockdown for the day last Friday.

And the day after that nightmare, Fenway Park was full, and signs of normalcy were everywhere.

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Early yesterday, even the last pocket of abnormalcy, the Boylston Street business district, began to get back to normal, although for many of us, it may be a long time before going there feels as it did before, if it ever does.

And that fact reminds us of another definition of normal – sanity, or freedom from mental disorder.

That sort of normalcy may be harder to find in the wake of what happened. They can replace the shattered windows on Boylston, but what about our shattered sense of safety?

Was that ever really repaired after 9/11? Or have the now-normal trappings of post-9/11 security been a constant reminder of what happened, keeping a low-grade level of fear alive in the back of our minds?

It’s a perfectly sane reaction to terrorism to be wary of it and take steps to prevent it. Those will now intensify, and you can be sure the marathon viewing experience will be different next year.

But normal life transcends terror. In Israel, after a terror bombing at a café, it’s not unusual to see people having their coffee next door while the cleanup crews are still on scene.

So, yes, we’re already back to normal in many ways, and getting there in others. But we may have to forget about ever enjoying complete normalcy again.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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