See ya 2020, you won’t be missed

FROM STAFF REPORTS / Editorial

When the clock struck midnight on Jan. 1, 2020, we celebrated with loved ones and beyond at the turn of the decade. Everything was in front of us, and it was going to be the best year yet.

Our New Year’s resolutions began, and likely ended a day later, signifying the most normal start to any year. We had hope, a fresh outlook, and a rejuvenation as a new year began.

Then, what has become known simply as “2020” happened.

It’s odd now to look back and think that one of our staff members rung in the new year in Walt Disney World packed on Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom with a capacity crowd shoulder to shoulder with the only mask in sight that of the Disney characters greeting children.

In addition to that, others were with their families, on vacation or out with friends at restaurants and bars.

That was such a sense of normal that was snatched away from us faster than we could say the word mask.

It felt like almost overnight, this year went from celebrating a new decade and one of our best years of life to one of survival.

But that’s what COVID-19 did to us.

On March 13, the state of Alabama flipped upside down when the first case of the novel coronavirus struck.

Originally school shut down for a few days and were set to reassess, while businesses took precautions. But it took less than two weeks before everything changed.

Schools were done for the year in March, moving to virtual learning, businesses were forced to work remotely with non-essential businesses forced to close for a certain period of time.

It led to record-high unemployment rates, students missing out on thee end of their schoolyear, including some missing out on finishing the sports season, closing out their senior years and graduating.

We were hurting and we didn’t know when it was going to end.

Depression struck, loved ones started dying, arguments ensued over how serious the virus was and all in the middle of a vital election year both locally and on a national stage.

Oh what 2020 could have been.

Without the deadly virus, what could have been accomplished? How much more peace would we have had in the world? How many would still be alive? What business would still be thriving? Could it have actually been the year we had hoped for?

Oh what 2020 could have been.

But now, we’re back to square one. The year 2020 can go where the sun don’t shine because it’s time for 2021.

We just thought last year was the year, but we were wrong, it’s going to be 2021.

Some of the brightest minds in the world are working to help us defeat the virus, the unemployment rate is dropping back to a low percentage, businesses are as close to normal as possible during the current pandemic, we’ve accepted wearing masks for the time being, and most importantly we have hope once again.

We can go into the new year knowing it won’t be the most normal, but also knowing, fingers crossed, that we’ve hit what feels like rock bottom with this virus and the climb back to normality has begun.

So, 2020, it was nice to meet ya, but here’s the door.

Welcome to the party 2021, let’s turn history around.