I'm willing to bet that there will be songs written and sung about 2020, but none of them will be as sweet as this one by John Mayall (backed by Eric Clapton):
Still, I'm sure that when 2020 showed up, clean and neat as a newborn baby on January 1st, it had no idea what kind of Frankenstein's monster it was going to turn into. If we had, we'd have showed up with torches and pitchforks on January 21st…
Now I never make New Year's resolutions (never make promises in the dark of the moon…) but I do look back and say what the hell was that? The nicest way I can put it is that this year, as the old-timers of my youth would say, was "sent to try us", and it certainly showed everyone what they were made of. I learned that I still know how to wait, which keeps on being handy, year after year - and this year more than any other. I also learned I can be a total news junkie, and that is not a good thing.
To all the health care workers and front line workers, whoever and wherever you are and were – you knocked it out of the park! You're still knocking it out of the park. We can never thank you enough. We can never honor you enough. And we really need to provide mental health care for the PTSD that is coming once this pandemic is over. And it wouldn't be a bad idea to forgive / pay for all their student loans as a small thank you.
Meanwhile, here are the gifts I wish for our country - and the world - for 2021:
(1) Coronavirus vaccines for everybody. 100% everybody.
(2) Resocialization. From children to adults, we're going to have to get used to being around each other again, not ducking across the street or to another aisle in the store, etc. It's been a long time. No one except Allan and myself have been in my house since April. We haven't gone to a restaurant except to get takeout since March. In person meetings of any kind ended when winter came in and it was too cold to sit on the socially distanced on the porch. We're gonna need some help. And a lot of mental health care and counseling. Even for those of us who have been fortunate enough to not have lost loved ones, there's a certain level of PTSD that's going to rise like an ocean once we can get around to feeling things again.
(3) Civility, negotiation, conflict resolution and nonviolence. Because this has been a year of frightening selfishness, disguised as freedom fighting. From the "militia" that plotted to kidnap and kill at least one governor over lockdowns, to the (still on-going) threats to election officials for not providing the desired results, constant anti-mask protests and general COVID defiance, it's enough to make even Thomas Paine say it's time for a reboot. The worst, to me, were the anti-maskers who actually protested health care workers:
To the protester wearing scrubs: “This is a free country. This is the land of the free. Go to China!” (The Guardian)
"Use medicine; take potions which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor does not need your presence or has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire which instead of consuming wood and straw devours life and body? You ought to think this way: “Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison and deadly offal. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine, and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely, as stated above. See, this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God." HERE (my emphasis added)
- The Constitution. (HERE)
- The Declaration of Independence. (HERE)
- You could also do worse than read George Washington's Farewell Address. (HERE)
- That set a high bar for Presidential farewells, didn't it?
- Frederick Douglass' (What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?)
- President Trump will continue to tweet at the same rate most of us breathe.
- "Xi Jinping will remain President for Life of China. Vladimir Putin will make himself President for Life of Russia. (Russian government resigns) Major pissing contest follows.
- Brexit will happen. Almost no one, including Brexiters, will like it.
- Future quote: "It isn't what I expected it to be. I thought everything would be cheaper, we'd have more freedom, and all those foreigners would be gone."
Speaking of Brexit, even money that:
- Scotland will vote for independence.
- Northern Ireland will vote to join the Republic of Ireland.
- Scotland will join Northern Ireland and Wales in a Celtexit from Great Britain.
- Normandy and Brittany will consider joining them. The beginning of the Great Celtexit from Europe will begin. Catalonia will try to join, but will be told to cabrear.
Wildly improbable, but I still want one: