Nine Months Later
January 1, 2021
Most of the world is claiming 2020 to be the worst year of their lives. And it was one horrible year. But there have been good things.
I sent out what I had written on New Year’s Eve for the last four years to the A List. It clearly shows my progression from utter hopelessness to my choice to move confidently into the future.
I received some positive responses. One friend said, “This year sucked. But really good things happened. Normalizing depression and anxiety. Normalizing self care, meditation and therapy.”
She’s right. Many people that have never experienced depression experienced situational depression for the first time in their lives. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, especially not triggered by a pandemic.
But the positive is, we’ve shifted our priorities. We’ve developed the tools needed to increase our resilience. We’ve learned how to connect with those we love using online platforms. We make jokes about not wearing our button pants, living in our sweats. But for many, time at home with our families has strengthened relationships.
Although many of us are grateful 2020 is over, I fear we are not on an upward trend. 2021 is going to exceed all expectations for the worst. Just because the calendar turns over a new year does not mean this pandemic will abate.
Our country is divided politically like I have never experienced in my lifetime and perhaps during any time since the Civil War. Aggressively managing the spread of COVID has become a politicized nightmare, with a vast number of Americans believing it’s a hoax and who will opt not to receive the vaccine.
The federal government has done nothing to assist states with the logistics of delivering the vaccine. The responsibility has fallen on already overstretched hospitals, clinics, and private pharmacies to manage its complicated storage and administration. Just as thousands lined up for COVID tests, we will have thousands lining up for the vaccine.
We’re under a new administration, and I’m hopeful things will improve. However, transitioning to a new administration is only one small hurdle in reuniting the country and overcoming the obstacles necessary to get us to herd immunity. Our democracy has suffered fearfully, and as of today, there have been over 346 million COVID deaths. It will take years to return to some semblance of order.
January 1, 2021 has arrived. But our democracy has been challenged to its core, and we remain in the grips of a raging pandemic.
“Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.”
– Thomas Mann