The novel coronavirus overshadowed nearly every aspect of a year whose iceberg of anxiety, uncertainty and unrest had many tipping points.
It’s now time to say goodbye to 2020. For many, it will be good riddance to a year of unfathomable loss and turbulence. Some managed to find silver linings in its cloudy skies. Amid darkness, candles of kindness, heroism and innovation—including new vaccines—offered light.
Quite honestly, those numbers haven’t sounded as good together since Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters were a Friday night staple. A lot of us had high hopes for you this year, 2020. We were going to tackle new adventures. We were going to travel more. We were going to take a new risk and maybe step outside our comfort zone a little bit.
Instead, we spent most of you hearing the terms, “Coronavirus,” “COVID,” “pandemic,” “social distancing,” “six feet apart,” and “election.” You took our loved ones. You kept us at home. You exhausted us. But there was something you forgot about while unfolding your universal masterplan.
The perseverance of human kind.
See, you thought we would just lie down and accept what was happening. You forced us to quarantine in our homes for 2 weeks at first, then longer. You thought you won. You thought you robbed people of their birthdays. Of holidays. Of seeing their loved ones.
You overlooked the fact that when we need to step up for people, we do. You didn’t plan on the fact that we would start turning what should’ve been birthday parties with fun, games, and cake, to birthday parades with people safely in their cars driving by a birthday boy or birthday girl and showering them with love from afar.
You didn’t think out the fact that we would still gather for meals with our friends and family, maybe not all huddled around a table, but instead a socially distant picnic with everyone showing up with their own meals spread out far apart. You didn’t realize that friends would use vacant parking lots to all park in with their friends, set up chairs or open their truck beds and just hang out and talk from across aisles of spots, did you?
You thought you could take out all of our small businesses? You didn’t expect them to adapt and change like they did. You didn’t think that curbside pick up would be a thing, or that restaurants would offer takeout. You didn’t plan for them to build outdoor dining areas where they could and take advantage of all the space they could.
And you thought you could hit us most where it hurt — charitable endeavors. You thought if you put everyone possible out of a job, no one would give a dime to anything. But what you didn’t realize, is that WE call the shots on when WE decide to give or not. And it turns out that a lot of charitable events that happened this year, even though altered by what you brought us at the start of you — a lot of those events set records for donations.
So, see 2020 — you might’ve knocked the wind out of us, and maybe even knocked us down. But you did a terrible job of keeping us down. Because not only did we and do we still work on persevering, but now we’ve learned to pump the brakes on rushing through life a little bit. Now we’ve learned to focus not so much on what you took away from us, but to appreciate what you didn’t.
You took jobs away from some of us — and some of us saw that as a blessing. It was our sign to go back to school or to focus 100% on a side project we were starting on. It was an opportunity for some of us to move back from where we originated from. Again, you knocked some of us down, but you didn’t expect some of us to get back up quickly, and see it as an opportunity instead of a failure.
I saw a meme the other day that said something to the effect of how we’ll be pronounce the year that it’ll turn into at midnight as “2020 Won.”
But you didn’t win, 2020. Your dumpster fire self is gone at midnight. We’ll still be here at 12:01a.
Good riddance, don’t let the door hit you on the way out, and also — thank you. For helping a lot of us re-prioritize a bit, become creative, and appreciate more of what we have as opposed to stew over what we don’t.