I can’t remember being so anxious to put a year behind me and move on to the next. Thank God we’re leaving 2020 behind. For Good. I hope!
There were a lot of good memories from the past year and a whole lot of disappointments. 2020 started off with a bang. Rising stock market, unemployment at record lows and minorities benefiting from the effects of a business friendly environment. Then came spring and the wheels literally fell off the cart.
Who could have guessed
March brought on the Covid-19 pandemic and in a matter of weeks started to turn the world upside down. Images on TV convinced many that the world was coming to an end. Within a couple of months, businesses were shut down (with the exception of a few key retailers). Small business owners immediately felt the devastating effects of the shutdown and continue to feel them. The stock market tumbled and the gains in unemployment were wiped out. Governors, mayors and politicians screamed at the top of their lungs we needed to self quarantine to save ourselves. They quickly took the reins by declaring emergency powers and wielded it like they were kings.
When the riots started in the early summer things really fell apart. Our governor let the city of Minneapolis burn for three days before getting his act together and calling in the National Guard. Within hours the riots were quashed. Sections of the downtown were destroyed, lives were forever altered and businesses gone, never to recover. In numerous states and cities we saw similar situations and in some cases the disruption to normalcy continues.
As the pandemic faltered and regained steam, more draconian measures were put in place with ‘benevolent’ exceptions. Limited occupancy of bars, restaurants and businesses. Masks became the norm when shopping or attending social gatherings (where/when allowed to gather). We tried to obey the leadership when they put restrictions on movement and socializing only to watch them personally ignore them. Videos and photo’s started showing up with those same leaders flagrantly in defiance of their own orders. One governor even had the audacity to post a public announcement about restricted travel while on vacation outside the country. The rules seemed to be made for the ‘little people’.
For four years we endured an endless attack on the president by individuals, organizations and politicians opposing him. We were promised “incontrovertible” evidence of wrong doing on the presidents part. (Still waiting to see the evidence 4 years later). The same person promising this evidence (a high ranking member of Congress on the Intelligence Committee) is now known to have been groomed by a Chinese spy. Nothing to look into in that situation though, right?
And who can forget watching the honorable Speaker of the House tearing up the President’s State of the Union Address in front of the world. Very impressive….for a three year old. “News reporting” fell deeper and deeper into the swamp of Washington DC. By summer it was apparent objectivity in political reporting was dead.
Let’s not judge to harshly
Maybe most depressing was watching statues of our nations hero’s being torn down. Schools are dropping the name “Lincoln” as it seems he wasn’t sensitive enough. Washington and Jefferson are looked upon as being less then heroic due to their ownership of slaves. Forget the fact that these men were the instruments that helped bring about change that shaped who we are today.
We change and grow. I remember in the 70’s lighting up a cigarette on an airplane without giving it a thought. There’s no doubt a lot of improper behavior on my part from years gone by. Hopefully that hasn’t been what’s defined me as an individual 50 years later. Overall, this year has been so filled with lies, hatred and vitriol its been unreal.
There was some good too
In spite of all of this bad news, I personally had a pretty darned good year. We bought a new camper and put it to good use. My wife took a serious interest in shooting with me and we spent a lot of time at the range right up to the first snow. I had a cancer scare with a good outcome. So far we’ve avoided the Virus (I think). We spent time with friends, camping, grilling and canning. So it hasn’t been all bad.
Lets hope for change in the New Year
My hope is the New Year is going to usher in a period of change. Hopefully, the anger and bitterness can be set aside. We’ve made substantial gains bringing back the economy in spite of the cycles of shutdowns and restrictions. Unemployment is recovering. There are a lot of positives on the horizon if they don’t get derailed.
I hope the small businesses that are hanging on by a thread can recover and those that have been crushed will rise in a new form. It would be fantastic to see the US knife industry come back and give the Chinese some serious competition.
My greatest hope is that we can come out of this pandemic with a new confidence that we can overcome whatever is thrown at us. That the fears the media has fed us can be put aside with that new confidence. It’s time we move into the New Year not asking “Can I?” but “What’s going to stop me?”. Let’s all put 2020 behind us and have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!!!!