Man, what a ride last year was! Am I right? And I am not talking the kind of ride that I did back in high school, blazing down country roads, no seat belts, car loaded with friends with a beer in my hand (I will deny everything!). No, this last year was the type of ride that lives in the same memory bank as the one where I sat in the front seat of our family car, squashed between my parents (no middle console then) on our way to my brothers funeral; the uncertainty, insecurity, sadness and just simply the unknown of what life would now look like was palpable.
2020 brought us many life events:
Australia on fire. The West Coast on fire. Literally seemed like everything was on fire in 2020. Antarctica the warmest on record.
Tensions with Iran (again). War. No war.
WHO learns about Coronavirus, aka COVID-19, and is eventually declared a pandemic.
Essential workers become the true heroes of this year: healthcare professional, grocery employees, environmental service employees, gas station attendants, restaurant service industry, amid others.
Kobe Bryant, his daughter and others die in a helicopter crash. Chadwick Boseman, aka the Black Panther. Eddie Van Halen and Alex Trebek. Sean Connery. The country and world stop to mourn legends.
Brexit. Finally. #itsabouttime
Prince Harry and Meghan quit the royal family, enter stage right Meghxit. The royals are stunned, as is the world. Princess Diana watching from heaven, proudly.
Donald Trump impeached, x2 also tests #positiveforcovid. and Biden (oldest nominated/elected presidential candidate). and Harris (first black woman nominated/elected VP). Mail-in ballots. #recountrecountrecount
The government at war with tech giants: Google and Facebook.
Social media. A country and world at war with words.
Harvey Weinstein is convicted. Ghislaine Maxwell charged.
Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. #ican’tbreathe. Black Lives Matter protests country wide and pure pandemonium amid the pandemic.
Stock markets tank and toilet paper becomes the new currency and most coveted household item (next to Clorox wipes).
Tiger King came to Netflix. Our lives will never be the same. #carolbaskins
Chernobyl once again in the news, and not because of the riveting drama series and Nova Scotia makes the news amid the revelation that they just experienced the worst mass shooting in modern Canadian history.
Kim Jong Un. dead. not dead.
Per the government: UFO’s are real. The people: meh, ok. Life resumes (only in 2020 can this news be nothing more than a speed bump in our day).
Finally, the world emerges from their cocoon to become outdoorsy people….but then came the murder hornets, but not really.
Mask wearing becomes both a trend-setting fashion statement and a first-amendment argument for all the Karen’s and Carl’s of the world.
Parents are now teachers and their kids are home 24/7. Alcohol sales skyrocketed everywhere.
Beirut in shock.
RBG passes away and the LEFT freak’s out a bit because the U.S. Presidential election is just around the corner, the courts are conservatively packed and as expected, politics are as chaotic as expected.
Amazon, Fed-Ex and UPS experience unprecedented gains from all the unnecessary online shopping via a world of bored people. and animal adoptions at an all-time HIGH!
Finally, the COVID-19 vaccine.
December 31st, 2020. Quite literally the ENTIRE world stayed up to watch the BALL DROP as 2020 exited, just to be sure it actually left! #nogroundhogsyear
So, where do we go from here? We will rebuild. We always do. Not just America but the world. We have experienced pandemics before. We have experienced financial crises before. We have experienced social conflict before.
If I could write 2021 a letter, it would say this:
This time perhaps we can do a few things different? It’s an “all hands on deck moment” for not just for America but for the world. This past year has shown us our weaknesses.
Healthcare, though valiant in their efforts also saw great failures in infrastructure: small hospitals were decimated by COVID, larger hospitals were overrun and nursing homes were all but forgotten amid the tragedy of the pandemic. We can and should do better here.
Education. Quickly it became apparent that congregating masses of children together would not be a great idea. The teachers rebounded valiantly as they stepped up with online learning, though unprepared for such a task. Currently, school districts are facing decimated state funds which threatens school feeding programs, educational programs and teaching security. Online learning will need to be looked at for future treats.
Unemployment grew to Great Depression numbers. And going forward, the employment sector will look much different as businesses consolidate, businesses fold and new ones are created. The future will also look much differently on telecommunication and working from home.
The entertainment industry will continue to be the hardest hit: restaurants, movie theaters, concerts and mass gatherings are forever changed. Travel will also have a different look.
2020 laid bare a generation of over-the-top consumerism, an indifference to the global warming crises and a nation and world filled with people of entitlement.
COVID-19 is the catalyst for change.
The human spirit will prevail. Human creativity will expand with new businesses, products and social venues. Further, social paradigms will change and undoubtedly become more adaptable. COVID laid bare our weakness and to prevent any future global crises, we will have to learn from 2020. Disparities in income, and equality will hopefully gain more attention. Social media has proven to be positive, and negative and where do we go from here with SM? The earth, climate change and other issues that were made obvious by COVID also need addressing.
COVID 19 was our wake-up call. 2020, an infamous year.
Our children have been given the task to undo what we have done.
The Great Depression created frugal savers and undoubtedly brought forth the hoarders of that generation and World War II fueled an era of consumerism. What will COVID bring forth? Our children, and their children may well be the most impacted by this year. This group will most likely prove to be the next generation to bring about enlightened globalism and a values-based consumption. Greta Thunberg may well prove the leader of this generation. This generation recognizes the contributions of businesses that acted as good Samaritans amid a time in their lives that they will likely never forget. This generation recognizes that our world is in distress, both physically and metaphorically. This generation may very well be our next ‘greatest generation’.
We will look back at today’s young and we will know that they transformed this world as a result of all of the factors of this past year. of 2020.
You are the year of hope.
Bring it on!