2020 not such a bummer of a year after all

Dear 2020,

You’ve been getting a lot of flak, but I want to say that I see method in your madness, and I am choosing to focus on the positives you’ve brought us.

Firstly, I’d like to thank you for an even closer bond with my teens. I didn’t think it was possible, but our quarantine time strengthened us as we cooked more things from scratch, did some home improvements, and played a lot of board games. The very fact that we couldn’t socialize with others gave us pause to recognize the unique and important relationships we have with each other.

Secondly, you, 2020, are a trend setter, a catalyst, and a real change-maker. There are several trends that, thanks to you, will finally have more traction, and I’m not sure they would have happened as quickly or ever, without you. Remote work, remote medicine, and remote learning, are just three of the top-of-mind trends that you’ll be credited for. Germaphobes will also credit you, with thanks, for ending the handshake, as well as for a great reduction in the number of people who go to work/or are expected to go to work sick.

The extended COVID-19 quarantine showed the world that working from home is not only do-able, but efficient, and effective. There will be less eye-rolling in the future when colleagues say that they are working from home.

I also really enjoyed being able to call my doctor to have a prescription renewed, as suddenly the telephone was the only way to have appointments. It saves everyone time, and puts less people in the line of contagion.

The entire education system also had to port online overnight, and while that was a challenge, it was also a great opportunity. Great teachers found great ways to maintain engagement and educational outcomes, and this trend bodes well for learners everywhere to access previously inaccessible opportunities.

Thanks to you 2020, we have learned to appreciate some very important jobs. We now appreciate our teachers more than ever, after having to try and guide our broods in their curriculum, wild-west style, in March. We also now venerate our health-care workers for the risks that they expose themselves (and their families) to on the daily. We are thankful for our grocery store workers, and other frontline workers in a way that we never were before.

We also should credit you for helping us to realize that we need to do better for our elders because we have been failing them in their old age homes. We also learned how tenuous our race relations were, and that fundamental change is long overdue. You brought us to our feet in protest of injustice and taught us that all lives don’t matter until black lives do. You showed the world that bullies don’t always win with the election results south of the border. You held sexual predators like Harvey Weinstein accountable.

You also brought us a spectacular show of the Perseids this year, and the Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter. You showed us that it is not too late for our environment; and that air and water quality levels are improvable (just look at the clean Venetian Canals). You, and Cher, showed us how easy it can be to help our fellow inhabitants of the planet.

I for one, 2020, will not be putting coal in your stocking this Christmas. No one is perfect, and you did so much for so many, that I will be grateful for you. When all is said and done, you have focused us on community, and caring. You hit the pause button on our unnecessarily fast-paced, stuff-filled lives. We can do better as individuals, as families, as communities, and as stewards of our planet in 2021.

Thanks for your much-needed kick in the toilet paper to help us appreciate all that we had. Hindsight truly is 2020.



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