I can’t believe it’s the year 2021. I somehow feel like I’m in some far off future that the younger version of me couldn’t have possibly imagined. So many terrible and wonderful things happened in 2020.
As of now there have been over 1.83 million deaths from COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) worldwide and about 346,000 deaths in the United States. In the State of Georgia we had10,588 deaths and in my county there have been 232 deaths. Nobody could have expected a pandemic to happen. You read about it in sci-fi novels or see it in films, but you never could imagine it becoming a reality… or at least I hadn’t. (also as an aside I watched Johnny Mnemonic for the first time a few days ago and it’s set in the year 2021. The film was released in 1995 and is pretty much on par with what I thought the 2020s would look like).
Because of COVID-19 millions of people lost their jobs. And it was tragic to see miles long queues at food pantries. The irony is though the stock markets took a dip in the beginning, they did rather well during this time and it seems all indices faired well overall in 2020.
Millions of children were also at home as parents struggled to get them connected and setup on zoom calls and virtual learning.
The number of black lives taken this year has been extremely disturbing as well. George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are just a few of the names that will be woven into our nation’s historical tapestry. Sensless deaths. Those deaths and many other deaths of black lives lead to mass protests and violence and overall social unrest. Cities were literally burnining and people were getting hurt and even killed.
It seems mother nature wasn’t too keen on 2020 as well (or at least natural disasters were more noticeable this year). Wildfires were abundant in 2020 in the states of California, Oregan, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, and Idaho… it seemed like we saw a new fire happening every week during the summer. The east coast didn’t escape mother nature’s wrath either as hurricanes and tropical storms bombarded the gulf coast and east coasts. There were 31 tropical depressions, 30 tropical storms, 13 hurricanes, and 6 major hurricanes.
We also had a crazy election cycle where there may or may not have been voter fraud and where the current President of the United States is vehemently denying the election results (he lost to Joe Biden).
Despite all of these terrible things… there were still good things that happened in 2020.
On a personal note, my daughter was born (albeit a month early) in January of 2020. This was when we were hearing whispers of the coronavirus and had she been born on time, we would’ve been in very different situation at the hospital.
My workplace immediately responded to the pandemic by shifting all non-warehouse personnel to work from home mode and that has been a huge blessing.
Shows like Tiger King and The Mandalorian helped me keep my sanity as well as millions of others who were able to stream those programs.
Oddly enough one of the highlights of my year, aside from the birth of my second daughter, was watching the live stream of the Resilience launching into space with my oldest daughter and seeing the wonderment in her eyes as she saw the rocket launch towards space. I believe SpaceX is one of those companies that will live in infamy similar to Ford and its Model T.
I’m very grateful that so far no one in my family has contracted the illness. I even went on a vacation in November during Thanksgiving to the Great Smoky mountains where we took abundant precautions as not to contract coronavirus. I guess we were very lucky and thinking back on it, it may not have been the wisest decision.
I’ve also had the opportunity to spend a lot of more time with my family. Without having a commute and having more time during the lunch hour to spend with family, we’ve really gotten to connect. I’m thankful that I’ve had the time and the opportunity to do so.
This year also gave me the opportunity to reconnect with old friends through Zoom and Signal and it’s been fun connecting with those friends. One in our group even lives in China and it’s been really interesting to get his perspective on things going on in the world.
I’m not saying 2020 wasn’t a rough year for us, because it has been rough – we had unexpected emergencies come up this year as well including a waterheater that exploded and emergency dental work for both my daughter and my wife. – but 2020 overall was a year of gratitude. To be thankful for life, thankful for family, and thankful for the small things we take for granted.
While I hope 2021 won’t be as chaotic as 2020, I do hope that we won’t forget the gratitude and that we appreciate the little things. Cheers to a happy 2021.