It started as any other year, people embarking on their New Year’s resolutions, putting away all the holiday decor, and preparing for winter’s squall.
January began with a Prince departing from the Royal Family. An impeachment trial against our Head of State to which he would ultimately be acquitted of. As the month drew to a close, we suffered the loss of a legend, Kobe Bryant whose untimely death was mourned by the entire world. In the background of all these events, whispers began to circulate of a deadly virus.
The whispers became worldwide news In February when the first American Citizen died, in China, of the virus now known to all as COVID-19. All eyes turned to China as we watched a foreshadowing of events. Still, the month continued to unfold. Dozens lost their lives to senseless shootings, the stock market took a major and sudden crash, and the Boy Scouts filed bankruptcy due to the hundreds of lawsuits they had yet to face. But our eyes were fixed on another country hoping, praying that we wouldn’t be next.
March was riddled with COVID-19 news. The virus was stateside and spreading fast. Before we could even catch a breath, our country was locked down, and quarantined. Olympians were preparing to compete in Tokyo in just a few short months when the shocking news dropped, Olympics are Canceled. Fear crippled people, and silence filled the normal hustle and bustle. In the midst of this chaos, Netflix was able to turn the world’s attention to an eccentric Joe Exotic in a show called Tiger King. A staggering 34.3 million people binged this show, and for a brief moment forgot about the outside world.
Schools, closed. Non-essential workers, furloughed or laid off. Sports, canceled. Events, postponed. April ushered us into a new reality. A reality of having to wear a mask whenever you had to leave your home, of social distancing from each other, of not being able to see your family and friends. Store shelves began to get wiped out, price gouging started to increase. Millions applied for unemployment, and kids began to understand the term, home school. Domestic abuse cases were coming in at an overwhelming rate. Churches were shut down for some of its biggest holidays, Palm Sunday and Easter. Our lives were turned upside down, and all we could do was watch, at home on our TV.
As if the current state of affairs was not dire enough, Murder Hornets decided to make their grand entrance in May. Cases continued to increase, cities and states remained shut down. On May 25 social media was flooded with the sound of man’s voice saying. “I can’t breathe.” George Floyd tragically lost his life that day, triggering the #blacklivesmatter movement. Within days protests broke out across the country. While some were quiet, and peaceful others turned into massive riots, that resulted in cities enforcing curfews, and calling in the national guard.
The protests continued to intensify through June. Police shooting at protesters and protesters shooting at police. A mural was painted so large reading “Black Lives Matter” that you could read it from space. While social injustice was at the forefront of everyone’s mind, Joe Biden is announced as Trump’s opponent, beginning the engrossing presidential race.
July and August brought in the reopening of some cities, and states. People returning to the workforce and schools trying to decide what the fall semester will look like for students. New York City cancels Christmas Spectacular, the first time since 1933. Sports returns, but not the way we once knew. No fans allowed in the stadiums, but if you want a cardboard cutout of yourself at your stadium, you can pay $50-$100 dollars for one. As the protests continued, sports teams such as the Washington, Redskins revisit the possibility of a name change. The presidential race seems to ramp up as Joe Biden names Kamala Harris as his running mate. A vaccine looks to be on the horizon.
Things seemed to be looking a bit brighter in September and October when schools began to reopen. It looked much different from the previous year, but at least kids were able to socialize and teachers were able to teach. The presidential race really took off when the opponents faced off in the first debate. Protests continued to garner media attention, while COVID cases started to drastically increase.
Holiday Season was introduced with states clamping down on traveling through the months of November and December. Many families left to a 10 person minimum or no family to celebrate with at all. The presidential election locked in, and a new head of state in place; Joe Biden. COVID cases resurge at an exponential rate, giving states a reason to begin shutting down again.
That brings us to today, about a week away from Christmas and about 2 weeks away from 2021. Nothing about this year has been “normal.” 2020, you really sucked for lack of a better term. But as COVID surged, protests roared, and campaign propaganda filled our heads a seemingly forgotten, but powerful act began to take root in people, kindness. 2020 brought out us back to the basics, and humanity at its very basic form is kindness to one another.
Kindness, of young boy who so bravely stepped in front of his younger sister to save her from a dog attack. Kindness, of friends and families celebrating birthdays, baby showers, graduations, and weddings with car parades, reminding someone they are not forgotten. Kindness, of donating food, and coffee or simply saying thank you to our front line workers who have stopped at nothing to keep us healthy and safe. Kindness, of a man who left a large tip to a young waitress who wasn’t sure how she was going to make it through.
Kindness echoed across the country. Musical artists performed home concerts. TikTok was exploding with fun dances and videos for people to watch and take part in. Disney released movies straight to stream for families to enjoy. One simple act was able to restore hope in communities, churches, families, towns, and states.
There are 16 days left of 2020, lets end this year on a positive note. Show kindness and spread hope.