Day 6 of the 30 Day Writing Challenge
On December 31, 2019, as the clock struck midnight and we were officially in a new year, a new decade, 2020, we had so many expectations and hopes. The 1920s were years of change and looking back on them, excitement. We held high hopes for the 2020s. And within two and half months we found ourselves in the most unexpected of times as the covid-19 pandemic broke out.
I know this isn’t news to you. No one in 2020 is not aware of how this year has turned out to be exceptional. But it’s not exceptional in the way that we imagined. It’s a year of strife, and economic and social upheaval. It all feels crazy and out of control and utterly surreal. I have questioned the state of our society, our values and government more times in the past four months more than I ever did in my life.
2020 isn’t done. Even though there are memes calling for us to simply buy a pumpkin, throw a turkey in the oven and decorate Christmas trees so we can call it a year, 2020 isn’t done. But there are lessons to be learned from the year already.
Family is Everything
I wrote about how once covid is over, I just wanted to eat family meals together again. I have done that since the bubbles have been expanded, and it has been delightful. Family can be so frustrating. No one else will ever push your buttons like your family can. But no one else will ever love you the way your family can.
I understand families are not perfect, I understand that some come from far from ideal families. But all through this pandemic, I have seen how much people love their families. They worry for their elderly parents, for compromised loved ones, for their kids. I’ve seen people give up their jobs to protect their families from possible contagion. And I have seen families pull together during this time.
Unexpectedly, I have learned that exactly how deeply family resides within us.
We Need to be More Respectful
At the beginning of the pandemic, we seemed to have the mindset that we were all in this madness together. I saw community pulling together as people re-arranged their living spaces to work from home, and reached out to others through Zoom and what not. But as this thing has dragged on, we have reached a point of divide. People are refusing to wear masks, people are gathering in large groups with no distancing being maintained, and others are angry. And expressing that anger.
Expressing anger is fine. But I have noticed that the varying view points are expressed with extreme disrespect. To the point where people are dismissed as “Karens”, and again, I understand anger. But I do not see how disrespect serves any of us. We need to be more respectful. Everyone comes from different backgrounds, circumstances, value systems. We cannot all think and feel one way, and we need to keep that in mind.
We Are More Resourceful than We Think We Are
Throughout this pandemic, people have figured out very creative ways to manage the isolation. We have learned to work from home, even with all it’s challenges, and I know there have been many challenges. But we have managed! Virtual get togethers, social distant dinners in the backyard, neighbours sharing a beer by setting up a lawn chair on their driveway and then just chatting over the hedge. We started playing board games, and putting together puzzles and just really think outside the box.
As much as we might want to erase 2020, we are definitely learning from this crazy year. We are learning to think about things more deeply, to evaluate what really matters.
What have you learned from the pandemic? Share in the comments below.