I don’t think there is a person in the world who isn’t relieved to see the end of 2020, though there is not one of us who will forget it. In the US, more than 300,000 dead from Covid-19, and still counting; hundreds of thousands of families–millions around the world–grieving and unable to say final good-byes; unknown numbers suffering a variety of long-term symptoms; nurses and doctors–no strangers to illness and death–traumatized by the sight of the dead, of their hospitals being overrun with patients, and the prospect of choosing who lives and who dies. Millions of jobs have been lost, businesses shuttered, some never to open again, and millions left with not enough to eat and uncertainty about whether they’ll be able to stay in their homes and apartments.
Then there were the natural disasters: the wildfires, the hurricanes, derechos, floods, and typhoons; and the not-so-natural disasters–half of Beirut leveled by an explosion; violence against gatherings of peaceful protestors and against individual men and women of color; and the peace of Christmas morning in Nashville shattered by a bomb. The only bright spot: the blisteringly fast development of vaccines that promise to control the pandemic.
Good-bye, 2020, and good riddance.
May this new year bring health to those who have been ill, solace to those who are grieving, help for those whose homes and jobs have been put at risk, awareness of our responsibility toward each other, and the beginning of a return to normal for all of us.
Welcome, 2021. May you be a kinder, gentler year.