2020 must be a bad dream.
How can it not be a dream? After all, the year started off in January with an impeachment hearing and a horrific mystery virus that brought death to thousands in Asia and Europe. That is not a good start.
Next, February rolled in and it proved to be just as awful as there was the horrific helicopter crash in Los Angeles that took the lives of many people, including basketball great Kobie Bryant and his daughter. And, more died from this “Corona” virus. But, we remained optimistic.
March came in like a lion and then seemed to stay with the fury of a pack of wild animals. Just when you thought this CORONA VIRUS was going to “get under control” it became OUR greatest fear here in North America. Oh, how naive some of us were to think that “oceans” would keep germs away from our loved ones. By mid- March we got smacked in the face with a huge dose of reality – 2020 was going down in history as the year our world was forced to press a giant PAUSE button! We had no choice. COVID 19, as the virus was now called, was our enemy – a microscopic terrorist that arrived on to our shores and in to thousands of our homes.
Then it got worse. A whole lot worse.
The pandemic not only captured our health and the lives of nearly 200 thousand people to date in the US and millions worldwide, but also our spirit. We closed businesses, schools and places of worship. We had to endure major disruptions to our lives. There were no options. We were in survival mode. Even toilet paper, sanitizers, and canned goods became treasured commodities.
Many took to social media to vent. However, for all the good that comes from social media there has been a growing undercurrent of people who just wanted to use this media medium to post their agendas, engage in ongoing arguments , or disseminate (mis)information. . Some disagreements have become wildly out of control, especially on Facebook. There has been a lot of finger pointing and blame over political allegiances or if you believed in science vs. “theory”. Some folks just liked to post nonsense as they seemed to enjoy being a catalyst for volatile discourse. Plus, I never knew that a request to wear a mask could cause significant rifts among friends, let alone communities.
What has been so tragic to watch is how neighborhoods, families, and friendships have been destroyed. How did it happen that ordinarily decent people morphed and became so disrespectful and mean -spirited? Their words propelled through the social media spheres like verbal knives directed to hurt or disrupt a person or a group of people.
I think many have stopped thinking with their brains. Out of boredom, sadness, anxiety or despair due to economic pressures perhaps, some people have allowed logical thinking to be replaced with emotions on overdrive.
But wait, I thought the the message of 2020 was for us to STOP and put ourselves on hiatus?
Please note that I am a lifelong student and I will admit I still have much to learn in our world. HOWEVER… this I know with 100% certainty – we need to stop hurting each other. The “recipe” to survive this pandemic and these awful troubled times of unrest isn’t easy – but it is “do-able”.
First, we need to work together. To help each other, especially the people who need food, shelter or a job. Pick up the phone to check on your elderly neighbor. Send food to the single mom who is out of work. Mend fences with the people who you may have offended.
We need to collectively be supportive of each other and show the best of humanity. We absolutely must stop with the verbal daggers and replace them with genuine acts of kindness.
I know we all can be bright lights in a year that has seen so much heartache because I have faith that kindness and compassion do exist aplenty and will prevail.
I am confident we will wake up from this bad dream. We will survive. Eventually, we will thrive.
I wish you only the best of health-