How will you remember 2020?
Some people are ready for the year to simply “be over.”
I get it. It has certainly been a strange one. I don’t want to downplay the horrific death toll due to COVID-19. I am not insensitive to the racial injustices weighing on our citizens of color. I have been frustrated by the politicizing of anything and everything in sight.
My family has been gravely impacted by the novel COVID virus. I have many friends of differing racial backgrounds and ethnicities who walk an unbelievable tightrope in their everyday lives. And politics? I am fully aware that even though the election is over, there are those still stoking the fire.
Yet as I look back on 2020, I also see some good coming out of it.
Quarantine mandates were rough on many. For some, it brought out the worst side of dysfunctional family life. From others, however, I’ve heard testimony of people enjoying the unexpected time with family.
I hear a growing appreciation for teachers and the work they do. Some people I know claim to be more productive working from home and report finding new ways to connect with clients and co-workers.
A few who rarely cooked before are discovering their kitchens.
As for the unrest prompted by systemic racism and the ever present social injustices in America? I think more people are aware of the underlying problems inherent in our thoughts and speech and our long held assumptions about people who “are different.”
As a nation, we’ve tried to have those conversations before. Note the word “tried.” We’d move an inch forward and then feel so satisfied with ourselves we’d return to our old ways and fall back a half-inch on the equality scale.
Not this time. This is not a summer of discontent. This is a season of reckoning.
What prompts me to say this? Back to the virus. It knows no boundaries. It is colorblind. It has no barrier. Borders cannot contain it. Differing languages don’t confound it. Simply put: COVID-19 threatens everyone. We are in this together. All of us.
The year 2020 may be remembered as the year of the pandemic, but I hope it will be equally remembered as the year this beautiful country I love, remembered to love others.
We have always had a good standing in the world. People look up to us for leadership in what to do. We have always taken the lead in problem solving.
Though it may have been slow to get started, Operation Warp Speed met the challenge to quickly develop a new vaccine.
Ultimately, it is who we are. Free to think and solve problems and strong enough to face our own shortcomings. We can do this. 2021…look out. The Americans…All of Us are gearing up to make the world a better place.