Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Good Riddance, 2020!

 Well, the year 2020 is almost over. Funny thing, my head hurts this morning. It's like I went to a New Year's Eve party last night and got juiced for the first time in 35 years. Ugh, the bad ol' days.

I think this hangover-like sensation is due to the weird dreams I had last night. I mean, they were weird. I dreamed that everyone spent most of the year 2020 hiding behind closed doors. I dreamed the economy suddenly sputtered and millions of peopIe lost their jobs, and those folks who still had jobs were afraid to go to their places of work. I dreamed people were fearful of entering a grocery store, and they completely refused to go to restaurants. I dreamed everyone stopped going to church —  because church leaders told them not to come! I dreamed no one went on vacation, and traveling by airliner suddenly was considered to be as dangerous as it was back in, say, 1923. I dreamed that most sporting events got cancelled, and the games that were played did so in stadiums with no spectators. I dreamed that everybody dressed up for Halloween as a doctor, complete with a surgical mask, except that instead of only on October 31st, they wore this costume all the time. Have you ever heard of such crazy dreams?

Oh wait. Now it’s all coming back to me. It wasn’t a dream. It was 2020, the year when the abnormal became normal. 

So, here we are on the verge of the start of 2021. I think most folks will join me as we take one last look at the year 2020 and shout, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!!” 
Thank God 2020 is history. The year 2021 is sure to be much better, right? Well, I hesitate to get too giddy, because I hate to have my words come back to haunt me. I don’t want to jinx us. I’m sure there was some naïve sailor in Honolulu on December 6, 1941, who said, “I just love it here. This is gonna be the best Christmas season ever!” 

Therefore, I prefer not to be the naïve bumpkin who says, “After what we’ve just been through, 2021 is gonna be the best year ever!!”

Rather than being pollyanna-ish, Let’s just say my approach to the new year is cautious optimism. We’ve been through a lot, and with a little bit of luck and some divine intervention, circumstances could trend back in the right direction during the next 12 months. 

The thing is, just because we begin a new year, doesn’t mean all the problems of 2020 vanish. Viruses are not too smart. They can’t read calendars. All they know is how to keep multiplying as long as they’re in a favorable environment, such as somebody’s lungs. So, we have to be patient, since this pandemic is not going to end suddenly just because it’s a new year. 
There are encouraging news reports about vaccines. But that will take some time. We really need to adopt the attitude Winston Churchill expressed during World War II after the British army won an important battle. “Now, this is not the end,” he said. “It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Besides patience, the other thing we need to focus on is perseverance. It’s understandable that people are fed up with the quarantines, social distancing, and face masks. In order for 2021 truly to be a much better year than 2020, we have to double our efforts not to spread this nasty disease. 

If we’re lucky, sometime soon we will wake up and think, “Wow, what a bad dream. I’m glad it’s not real — anymore.”

However, regarding the New Year’s Day hangover you'll be enjoying soon, you’re on your own, pal.

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