We, as a nation, have gone through (most of) a year of… Hell. Folks used to joke, LAST YEAR, about 2020 and “perfect eyesight — well we sure have seen a lot since January.
Legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant and his daughter were killed in a tragic helicopter crash stunning sports fans and leaving a mourning mother and wife. Our 45th president was tried, impeached, and eventually acquitted. The #MeToo movement encouraged many to speak about their sexual assaults (and rapes), and many survivors cheered when some big names who felt entitled to abuse innocent victims were finally served justice.
America heard about the first reported cases of COVID-19 on our shores; these spurred a lot of misinformation, prejudice against Asians, fear, hoarding, restrictions, lockdowns, fighting, and even a stock market crash. Police-involved deaths of several Black men and women, as well as the outspoken rhetoric of prejudice, spawned the Black Lives Matter Movement and instigated many peaceful, and some violent, demonstrations.
Meanwhile, many businesses closed (some permanently) due to COVID-19 related restrictions, many children “went back to school” via the computer, jobs were lost, and families were devastated financially. For those who were able to work from home, their homes became crowded business offices, schools, gyms and more. The name “Karen” became an insult for an angry, often middle-aged white, woman who lived a privileged existence and attempted to inflict her will upon others.
The sitting president of the United States came down with COVID-19, and survived, and other prominent Americans from politicians to actors and sports-stars caught the virus and some did not survive. Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent 27-years sitting on the Supreme Court and eventually died after a long struggle with Pancreatic Cancer; finding and appointing her replacement was a lengthy political struggle that led to a resurgence of the #MeToo movement. Beloved TV personality Alex Terek died of Liver Cancer after a courageous battle.
More than four-million acres burnt, and some still burning, in California and the western U.S. costing billions of dollars; firefighters from across the country flew in to help an area where the heatwave and Covid-19 caused complication during evacuations, hundreds of homes and structures were burned, dozens injured, and multiple firefighter fatalities were recorded.
We are halfway through December and celebrating the holiday season in a year where many family get-togethers were only virtual, where many restaurants are closed to dining, movie theatres remain dark, and few indoor recreational activities exist. America has lost more than 300-thousand people to COVID-19, families and friends did not even get to say goodbye to many because of quarantines. And numbers keep rising.
But now, halfway through December, a very contentious national election has seen its final result with the Electoral College, and progress begins towards a new presidency. Vaccines against COVID-19 have been approved and a limited number of healthcare workers are beginning to get vaccinated – more vaccine is coming and eventually the hope is that most, if not all, Americans will be vaccinated against this sometimes deadly and often disabling disease within the next several months.
Now is the time when Americans need each other, no matter what our political affiliations are, no matter what our ethnicities are, or our lifestyle choices, and no matter what our financial status may be. We have been through Hell and we are almost to 2021. Let us come together and recover, let’s work together and heal our nation, comfort those who mourn, strengthen those who have suffered, and be a united America.