2020 Review: The Year That Changed Everything

Christmas is in a few days which means the end of the year is fast approaching. 2020 was one for the record books. Between Covid-19, the election, and all that came before, between, and after, it was a year no one will ever forget.

Personally I went through so many changes, at such a rapid pace, that I’m still absorbing it all. The entire year was filled with endings and beginnings, sometimes doing so with the tenacity of a spider on it’s web. 2020 began as a year of fear and ended on the promise of hope.

We all suffered in some way this year. We couldn’t escape it. As news got out about a virus in China that was killing people, the gnawing itch of curiosity quickly morphed into the realization that you could be next. We put on masks and stockpiled toilet paper and paper towels. We bought tons of food we would normally never eat just because there were only 2-3 items left on the shelf and, well, you better get it before it’s gone. For far too many of us in America we watched as over 300,000 of our citizens lost their lives to Covid. Parents, grandparents, friends, enemies. The true heroes of the day were the doctors and nurses on the frontlines, doing their best to help patients. They were the front line, facing a virus that was ravaging the USA. They are still doing it as I type this.

Our teachers had to learn a new way to teach students. Those same students got to stay home but the school came to them. New challenges crept up every single day. District administrators all too often didn’t understand the true plights of teachers and students. Special education entered the dark ages for many students. We won’t know the true cost of remote learning for some time to come but some paid a heavy price. Depression, anxiety, and suicides went up this year. We all know this. Students who would have been in the classroom disappeared. District enrollments are down. God bless ’em, but some of our leaders relied on a matrix that seemed to change as often as the wind blows.

For this blogger it was a year of immense writers block. How could I write about all this? I struggled. I wasn’t a teacher. Wasn’t a student. I wasn’t either of those when I wrote before but I was often in on the ground floor of whatever was going on. How could I do that from the townhouse? I was powerless. People messaged me, begging me to do more. To write about this or that. I lost my balance and didn’t know what to say. Should students be in school? Absolutely. But not if it could lead to the loss of more lives. Should businesses open up again? Movie theaters? State government? We found out the answer to these questions in the past month as the virus went from a burning ember to an inferno.

It was the year of Zoom. As we watched our work turn into a cheap parody of the Brady Bunch opening we adapated. We survived. But many didn’t. Many lost their jobs. In my line of work the heart is a functioning business. I would talk to businesses who lost everything. Gone, in a span of months. But we also reconnected. Some of us with ancient faces from our pasts.

2020 was a year of denial for many. Far too many which made the virus worse. We saw many flat-out deny Covid. It was a conspiracy, launched by the Chinese. It was Big Brother using a virus to track us and watch us. It was control. It was part of a master plan. At least that’s what Q-Anon told us with as much clarity as a convenience store urinal. Crackpot doctors popped up as overnight sensations on Youtube until they were shut down. Not because they were right but because they were contributing to the eventual loss of more lives. Now we are all going to be injected with microchips which is the TRUE number of the beast. Who profits? The prophets who turned churches into a place of fear.

We watched as a man was brutally murdered in an arrest and the country turned upside down. Long brewing hatred came to roost as a people said “No more!” After months of being cooped up in our homes many ventured out of their homes to protest. For African-Americans their anxiety became our anxiety. Issues of race and equality came to the forefront, as they should, and we questioned who we are as a country. For racists it was the end of the world. For the rest of us it was a parting of the clouds and letting the sun shine an ugly truth on all of us. That truth was simple- we can, must, and have to be different.

The United States became the epicenter of the coronavirus. There are many reasons for this but the number one reason was the lack of leadership by President Trump. For those same self-same deniers, Trump’s “joke” about injecting yourself with Lysol was him “just kidding”. The man could do no wrong. He was the Messiah of our times projecting lies and bile from his bully pulpit. He lied to us, to the Americans he was supposed to lead, from the very beginning. By the time the election came along in November enough Americans said “No more!” to the liar-in-chief. The true cost of the election is evident as friendships were forever torn asunder over politics.

We will have a new President in a few weeks. A President who will inherit the mess Trump left us. A President from Delaware. Will he be a great President? We simply don’t know yet. Many Presidents in America don’t become legendary until they walk through the fire and prevent its spread from further destruction. I hope Joe Biden will be that man. Time will tell.

I sit here typing in a different place than I was the beginning of this year. Chances are very good I will be in a different place a year from now. I learned a lot this year but the biggest lesson was this- make sure you are in a good place with yourself because you have to expect the unexpected. Heal your heart and mind and plant yourself firmly in the ground because a mighty wind is blowing. Tell those you love how much you love them. Reconnect even if you can’t see them. Don’t live your life through the lens of politics. Find common ground with those who think differently from you. Don’t base your religion on the politics of the day. Truth is a matter of perception and there are those who can and will easily manipulate you if you let them. If you are going to love do it completely. Don’t put conditions on it. Don’t live your life in fear and insecurities and doubt. Figure it out, deal with it, and move on. If you can’t, get help. It IS that simple. Find out who your people are. Lean on them and be there for them in the bad times. Tell them how much they mean to you every chance you get.

Today is the longest night of the year. 2020 felt a lot like that. But the light comes back, every single day. It is okay to hope. To feel. To love. It’s ok to take new chances. It’s ok to sacrifice for the greater good. These are the things I learned this year. It’s going to be ok.

2 thoughts on “2020 Review: The Year That Changed Everything

  1. So sorry that you had such a tough year. I actually found this year to be the year of inspiration. I saw people who thought they were weak – turn into super heros! I have been inspired by those less noticed, I have seen people seeing others in lights they never looked through. I have been inspired by young and old. I have been inspired by those who did not inspire others. I have been inspired by people having to walk in others shoes.

    Has it been trying, without a doubt. Parents, grandparents were forced to become teacher, I have seen students fall into cracks so big that WTC1 could not fill, yet I have seen parents / grandparents teaching actual important subjects, I have seen parents who normally don’t say anything – stand up and say – NO MORE! I have seen parents actually realize what curriculum is being taught. I have seen parents step into a zoom class and say no – you are not teaching this to my child. I have seen parents who believed their child’s IEP, 504 or HIP was being followed realize very little is being followed and stand up and during the zoom – explain – what is their child’s documents. They have become heros.

    I have seen grocery store employees surrounded when they were unloading trucks with panicked people trying to get the stuff off the delivery trucks. I saw grocery store employees say no more! We will not ne pushed, hit, or threatened while we unload trucks. I have seen truck drivers say, it is not safe and drive away.

    I have seen people who had PPE at home for personal use send it to nurses on the front line. Within days, sending their goods, that obviously were the best on the market, to family who worked with Covid patients. I have seen people who had supplies that others didn’t, share what they had.
    I have seen people shopping for multiple families, because neighbors were elderly or diminished in some way. I have seen people sewing and sharing what they make. Obviously facemasks come to mind, but the material to make them became impossible to find, I have seen others share with others who sew to get the products made.

    I have seen a real awakening for people who are because of their line of work laid off, before they were looked at as lazy, now billions world wide understand that UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS are not enough to live on, hopefully long term changes will come to that entire program. Now, people who never thought they would ever need a food line, are there with hope.
    I have seen babies born into a world like few ever experienced, imagine not meeting your grandparents until well after you turn 1. It is happening, but families are finding new ways to see each other. I have seen someone I know turn 100 this year, with gratitude, humility, and a spirit we all need.

    I was inspired by people in education who have taken a stand and said – no more. I will not be a part of a Marxist curriculum put forward by Akoben (A Curriculum Consulting Firm)LLC – The name means – Battle Cry – War Horn!

    Finally, I am not a FOREVER TRUMPSTER – But we have seen leadership from him that is now undisputable. I hear echoes of laughter when he said we would have a vaccine by the end of the year. We know more post election then before the election. We know Biden and his family are China bully pulpits for personal gain. Regardless, of the election results, we saw more AMERICANS vote that EVER before, and that in its self is a victory. We may disagree on the current president’s record – or what our next four years will look like, but we all all should know how we got here.

    2020 taught me that we as humans are still strong and when we work together, we can accomplish anything. I have a renewed belief that people now have walked in others shoes and didn’t like the fit, so, now moving forward we need to make changes so that those on unemployment are not thrown into poverty.

    In a period of four years I have heard people say they heard lies and bile for four years, maybe it is time to look at where it really came from. We have learned over the past 12 years that the media is a misused tool. There is no balance on ANY station. It is incumbent on all of us to demand better. News should never be opinion and opinion should never be news. Reporters should report on a story and never be the story. I have learned just how lazy we as Americans have become, just to believe what we are told when in other areas we believe nothing we are told. I remember one of our leading CV19 Task Force scientists tell parents – bleach your kids Halloween candy – everyone says listen to the scientist – was he serious – probably not – but I understand sarcasm. Where was the media outrage with that? I am heartened to see that so many have decided that the media has done such a disservice to American’s, and limiting their protections may be the only way to correct this course. Allowing reporting news and trusting that we as Americans can understand what you are reporting and decide for ourselves what we believe is best for us. There was a infamous reporter who often said – “the news – just the news!”

    As far as our futures, they are and always have been 100% ours to make what we want with what we will. We can blame others for our ill fortunes or take responsibilities and realize that repeating the same thing hardly ever gets us a different result. We need to been in a healthy and good place within our heart, mind, spirit and deeds.

    Like

  2. If you have not read it, I recommend Daniel Defoe’s \it{A Journal of the Plague Year}, published 1722 about the year 1665.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.