Happy New Year!
Tonight we say goodbye to the year 2020. A year we will not soon forget. At midnight our booming stock market and the devastation of the coronavirus rolls into the year 2021.
Although we are in the midst of the darkest days of the pandemic with countries throughout the world locking down their borders, reinstating restrictions and stay-at-home orders, closing schools and businesses that only recently welcomed back their students and customers, we must remember our country has been in similar straights before, and we survived.
News headlines in 2020 centered on runs for the presidency, house, and senate seats; Black Lives Matter protests that morphed into riots and looting; and the rising virus cases that encouraged pleas to wear masks, keep a safe distance, and stay at home also overwhelmed medical personnel, hospitals, and deaths. Other major stories included the bushfires in Australia, and the wildfires in California and other western states.
The glimmers of positive news stories struggled to cut through the noise. Those stories include the groups who created and donated masks when supplies ran out, the astronauts shuttled to the International Space Station by SpaceX’s Dragon capsule, and the landing of a spacecraft on an asteroid by NASA. Then there were the thousands of people who risked their health by volunteering for the experimental vaccines, the technology company Zoom that connected millions of people with family, friends, coworkers and even doctors, and don’t forget the drive-ins that made a comeback.
One of the bright spots for me was the election. There’s been a lot of talk about what a terrible thing it is for the president to challenge the results. Thirty-six of the 40 cases were withdrawn or lost and four are still pending but not expected to go anywhere. Those challenges prove that our democracy stands strong and that the will of a majority of voters cannot be squashed. Whether we agree or disagree on the outcome of the November 2020 election, the United States democracy works.
Now that the vaccines are rolling out, we wait patiently for our turn to have our arms poked. We understand it will take several more months before we can resume activities without wearing masks, without avoiding people, without fear of illness or death from the virus.
So, as midnight approaches, we prepare to ring in the year 2021, and think about our ancestors, what they experienced in similar situations and how they survived, and that gives us hope.
Hope that someday soon we will hug and kiss our family members again.
Hope that we will meet our friends in person again, shake their hands, and give them hugs.
Hope that children will resume their studies safely in the classroom.
Hope that restaurants and other businesses will once again thrive.
Hope that the unemployed will find work.
Hope that all goes well with the vaccines and the promised effectiveness holds true.
Hope that we will travel again, be it by auto, RV, train, plane, or ship.
We trust all our hopes become reality.
We wait for that day.