There is a lot of talk right now about something called “The New Normal.” And there are those who seem to believe we are going to maintain changes now forced on us as to lifestyle when the pandemic recedes.

Just to be clear, I am of the “Not So Fast” school. While people change, deep-down we are still people and many of those items being touted as examples of pending change may not work out exactly as predicted.

I do not see video/remote education as a direction. We will experience more opportunity to attend educational lectures than we previously were offered. Certain advanced secondary school and college courses do lend themselves to video. These would include such items as English Literature or Basic Mathematics or even Communications.

There will still have to be a frequent and regular classroom component, however. While video and online instruction can take us a way down the learning road, there is no substitute for social interaction or face-to-face discussion. Our DNA almost demands the “touching” of other souls to make the strongest impact on us.

The New Normal also relates to how we shop. This pandemic has forced us to consider take-out or delivery of foods, both raw and prepared, and these became the closest we could come to the authentic restaurant dining experience. Just three months ago those alternative avenues of access were not even on our mind.

Many of us have ordered wine, spirits, or beer from a vendor in another state, or from a local outlet and had the product delivered to our home. Does not get more convenient than that assuming you do not require the liquid product for tonight’s take-out dining feast.

Let me encourage you, however, to keep it local. We have been in stay-home lockdown for almost two months, with infrequent visits to grocery stores and maybe bottle shops, yet even now there are still plenty of adult-only drinking products on the shelves. Now with the stay-home order coming off, we will return to our favorite restaurants, and there will once again be a plethora of product for our enjoyment and indulgence.

Or we may factor in a “new” method of purchase, the order from a faraway source and await a delivery.

Here is the real message: local merchants and shop-workers have paid a dear enough price with the lockdown. We want to bring everyone a modicum of economic comfort in as short a period as we all work towards recovery. That is what we want, isn’t it?

Other markets and companies must find their own water levels. For New Orleans, when we help each other, we are helping ourselves. Keeping transactions local is really what we do best in music, celebrations, culture, dining, and history. ‘Nuff said.





Read Happy Hour here on on Thursdays, and listen to The Dine, Wine and Spirits Show, hosted by Tim, every weekday, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. on WGSO 990AM and streamed, as well as stored (podcast), at Also, check out Last Call, Tim’s photo-feature about cocktails every month in New Orleans Magazine.