December 11, 2020
Let’s be honest here; nothing about you went the way any of us were expecting.
You were off to an already inauspicious start with the Australian wildfires and the threat of a third World War, and all of that was before COVID-19 struck. The pandemic took away lives, jobs, and overall peace. Business and school doors echoed shut; thousands of college and high school graduates accepted their diplomas via Zoom instead of walking the stage. On top of all that, here in the United States, racial and political tensions reached an all-time high, while the economy took a steep dive.
Now, it’s somehow December already, and I’m still trying to figure out how you were at once the slowest and the quickest year of my life. As much calamity that has filled these last twelve months, however, as we crest the hill and enter 2021, I don’t want to focus on that. You, 2020, weren’t just the pandemic’s year, or the election’s year. You showed us humanity in its purest form: our fierce tenacity to band together when we need each other the most.
So, to say goodbye, here’s a reminder of some of the positive things, among many others, we achieved in 2020.
- People quarantined in Italy came together to make music on their balconies.
- Drive-in movies made a comeback.
- TikTok started plenty of new, colorful trends in hair, makeup and style.
- Crayola launched a new box of diverse skin-colored crayons to allow children around the world to depict themselves accurately.
- We finally had time to finish all the projects we used to be too busy for, and pick up some new hobbies while we were at it. (i.e., renovating houses or rooms, learning to bake and/or cook, taking up sewing, or even honing creative skills like painting or sculpting).
- Pet adoptions and pet foster care applications went up.
- Teachers, frontline healthcare workers, and essential workers finally received the recognition they deserve. (The pandemic allowed us to recognize all that these people do for us everyday. Signs, cards, social media messages and more showed these heroes our love and appreciation.)
- “Parasite” became the first international film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
- Netflix added a selection of classic Black TV shows like “Girlfriends” and “Sister Sister” to its selection.
- Disney+ released a full recording of the hip-hop Broadway musical “Hamilton” on its platform.
- Record voter turnout occured in the U.S. elections, with more people voting in the presidential election than any other in over a century.
- Record numbers of people showed up globally to protest police brutality and systemic racism–the biggest movement since the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
As for next year, I predict the recovery will be swift and booming, simply because it’s happened before. America’s economic and social scene flourished following the 1918 flu pandemic. We’ll soon be able to pick up the pieces and start back up again–not where we left off, either, but far ahead of that.
So good riddance, 2020. We won’t be missing you.