All over social media, you can find people expelling their frustration at the current state of events by variations of the meme or statement: 2020 sucks! Things like “2020 is the worst year ever” “what else can happen this year?” and of course my favorite “don’t fall asleep on New Year’s this year, you will want to see the new year be ushered in.” These all make perfect sense given the tough year most Americans have undergone.
The moment the reality of COVID19 started to sink in — about the same time kids were sent home from schools — people around the globe realized that this year was going to be one to remember. Or more realistically, one they desperately wanted to forget! Social media is offering a great outlet to people during these times and honestly, as the year progresses, it really seems like this is a year where anything could happen. I mean, murder hornets?! Really?!
But as we edge closer and closer to 2021, I want to share a warning: The problems we are having now, won’t end the moment the clock strikes midnight, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Hear me out: most of the bad things happening in 2020 are a direct result of conditions that have been in place for years but went unnoticed. Justifying the crazy turn of events this year by blaming them on the year is a dangerous mindset because it simply perpetuates the blindness of reality. Let’s break it down simply:
COVID19 — Is not going to even begin ending until a vaccine is not only produced and distributed but also taken by the majority of the population. That 100% won’t happen in the remaining 3 months of the year and probably not until well into 2021. Until then, each American needs to do their part to slow the spread and wear a mask! Even joking by saying it will be over on New Year’s Eve takes the responsibility away from individuals who could be making a difference and slowing the spread.
Black Lives Matter protests — Finally, this movement is gaining traction and attention! There are so many theories about why it was this year that the movement is finally getting the attention it deserves. My personal theory is that everyone was so bored and angry from being in quarantine for so long that they quickly joined a movement that without COVID19 and quarantine, they’d probably have been too busy to join. Since it’s based on systemic racism, it won’t (and shouldn’t) be over until REAL change is made. And that could take years. I was very happy to see new legislation already on my ballot (VOTE!) but I hope that people keep fighting well beyond the sunset on NYE 2020.
The political climate — No matter who will be elected in November, the country is so divided that I fear things will only get worse before they get better. The last four years have been politically painful for so many people in the U.S. but it has also brought to light some ideologies that were previously thought to be erased. My hope for 2021 is that people can find a way to stop fighting and live together peacefully.
Record setting wildfires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters — While heartbreaking to watch, with each new disaster comes renewed energy to fight for climate change. In a world that is demanding our fighting attention in so many areas, it is vital we don’t forget to keep fighting for our Earth. I wish disasters will lessen and the Earth will begin to heal but let’s be honest, real impactful change isn’t going to happen until the billionaires ignoring it get a punch in their wallets. There’s a solid chance that this won’t be magically over once the year ends. This needs BIG change and will take months (years?) to fully recover from the damage we have already done.
All these major things happening are scary and awful but they NEED to happen for change to happen.
So when things are overwhelming and scary, just remember that change is never easy but right now it desperately needs to happen. So hang on for the ride!