Looking back,  I can’t remember a more turbulent and fearful time as this year has been.   You would have to be over 100 years old to remember a worse time than 2020, whether it’s the 1918 Spanish flu, the 1940 great depression, or the fighting and rationing held during the two world wars.

 What an incredible year … It seems so extraordinary as to seem impossible

  • Who would have ever guessed that the highest number of citizens came out to vote in the middle of a pandemic complicated by voter suppression and the contesting of the legitimacy of our voting system by the President and the Republican Party.  The corruption of power and greed has no limits.  I am praying for our democracy to survive.
  • How can a country so powerful not be capable of protecting its most vulnerable citizens from a pandemic causing so much loss of employment,  businesses, and food insecurity? How is it that there could be so many human being so selfish and unwilling to protect themselves?  The sad part is that all it takes is three simple basic life-saving steps — wear a damn mask, wash your hands, and keep your distance. Clearly not enough without a vaccine but sufficient to save many lives and have mercy on our front line health workers.
  • It is shockingly sad to have witnessed the amount of climate change disasters from tornadoes that destroyed communities to massive floods and long-lasting forest fires occurring in just one year.  Decisionmakers from both the public and private sectors continue to refuse to listen to science or believe this to be a  hoax passing this on to the next generation.
  •  Surprising and truly emotional was the civic unrest (mostly peaceful) caused by a surge in police brutality and the economic and health disparities among people of color, predominately African-Americans. How can we as a nation flourish with so much inequalities where the rich get richer, and the poor get even poorer?  Over time, how does this nation not become a plutocracy or an oligarchy?
  • Lastly,  our love and hate relationship with social media. Its influence over our daily lives and politics continues to heighten as it polarizes and divides us by fostering a reality of alternative truths. How do we get off this train?

Sorry about pondering all that is bad, including the extra 10 pounds of covid weight many of us have given up trying to undo.

 Hmmm…. so what is salvageable in 2020 that will become the new normal and maybe make us better human beings?   Here is my take …

  •  Many of us have connected with children, siblings, parents, neighbors, and friends in different ways that show concern for them and reveal our own way of dealing with isolation and fear.   This is a good thing; let us continue this from now on.
  • Remote learning or zooming is no longer an after-thought on how to educate or conduct business. As the technology gets better (and traffic becomes more congested), I see this being part of the new normal (please, no more virtual galas). 
  • However, we also know that remote learning during this pandemic affects children’s education and daily lives. The levels of complexities are endless, and only time will tell. It will be interesting to see what impact this will have on the next generation of young adults.  I hope resiliency is an outcome.
  • Time on our hands has allowed many of us to explore our inner creativity and lifelong bucket list dreams, whether it is painting, sewing, writing, designing, or cooking.  I, for one, finally launched my blog in March (allowing me to ponder and reflect as I write this story).
  • New micro businesses have been popping up as alternative income generators by creatives and budding entrepreneurs who may have been faced with the loss of employment.  Small and large businesses are rethinking how they can successfully thrive and are much more open to new ideas and innovation within their industries.

  To me, the most significant positive change of 2020 caused by this pandemic has been slowing down,  forcing us to think about the concept of time. Self-examining who we are and what we want in life —-becoming more appreciative of life’s little things—- nature, relationships, humanity—- things that we were too much in a rush to fully engage in.

As the new year rolls in, I anticipate that there will be many retirement plans activated, folks moving to a less stressful environment,  more creativity than ever, and a stronger desire to travel and see the world as time becomes a more valued commodity.

As we entered the new year, we will still be in a pandemic mode—-at the moment —-an inescapable path that will keep its grip on us until the world can be fully vaccinated.  What will be different is a change in our politics, a welcomed new leadership razor-focused on the many crises’ caused by the pandemic and our current impotent leaders.

As we come close to the end of this year, it is time to again make those resolutions that we plan to keep even as we take on this pandemic.  Just remember none of these resolutions count for much if you don’t follow these three simple basic life-saving steps —— wear a damn mask, wash your hands and keep your distance until we are all vaccinated!

Happy New Year!

The photos for this story reflect the many ways we have adapted to the pandemic in managing our day-to-day lives while protesting what is wrong with our country.  Some of these photos have been used in other stories and are also favorites. 

                                                              Click the center of the photo to see the full view.

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