A Year Like No Other: Finding the Good in 2020

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Photo Courtesy of Naomi Engle (24′)

Naomi Engle

There’s little doubt to say that 2020 has been a year unlike any other in modern history.  At the end of 2019, many people welcomed the new year as one of luck, the start of a new decade, and a year with repeating-digits.  However, within months, these thoughts were shattered by the arrival of a global pandemic that would claim the lives of many, a racial movement that would make the world, especially America, question its morals, and much more unrest that divided us as people.  Mental health was at an all-time low, and as we make our way into 2021, it’s safe to say that many people across the world welcome the end of 2020.  But we as a community can’t move on without looking back and acknowledging the good that came out of the last year.  Though 2020 was shadowed in despair and hopelessness, many significant advancements and positivity stories must be looked back on to prepare for the future.

Although the pandemic was undoubtedly a key negative factor, there were also some small positives that came out of it.  For one, families were able to spend more time together in unconventional ways.  Many parents tried out homeschooling their kids and, although some were unsuccessful, it provided excellent bonding time and a plethora of memories.  While staying at home, families were also able to see the power of “America’s Heroes”, the name many gave to medical workers, postal service officers, cashiers, store operators, and others who risked their lives to save others and keep society across the globe functioning, even during a pandemic.  Despite the dire circumstances, the talent and bravery of these people were appreciated by billions through their everyday work and inspiring stories on the news.  Another group of people recognized for their courage was the everyday people who signed up to test the Covid-19 vaccine, risking the side effects to provide useful data that would be used to develop the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.  This pandemic brought us together in ways we could never have imagined at its start and has brought out the hero in all of us.

There were also many political and social advancements.  The tragic killing of George Floyd rocked the whole world, but America especially.  The protests in the streets led to a powerful movement called “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) that would help bring about many government reforms and radical changes in the way people thought.  Although brought about by a terrible event, BLM has been an overall success, providing a hotspot of socio-political growth and understanding amongst citizens, continuing to do throughout the new year.  There were also successes in governmental office.  Sen. Kamala Harris will become the first female (and Asian-American/African-American) vice-president after her upcoming inauguration in January alongside President-elect Joseph Biden.  2020 has been an incredible year politically thanks to the power of the people, who’ve repeatedly spoken up for what they believe is right and advocated for change even throughout the chaos of a global pandemic.  

On a smaller scale, there have also been many changes in the 2020 school year, especially in the Viewpoint student body.  Mental health has always fluctuated over the years, and many students remarked that looking back at 2020 provided many opportunities for self-reflection and change.  “[This year] I learned the importance of self-care and taking time for myself,” Jessica Cao (‘24) said in a student interview.  “[I] realized just how lucky I am,” Laurel Eith (‘24) added.

The news has not been easy to report this year.  After all that 2020 has brought us, it’s okay to fear for the future and what 2021 might hold.  But despite the hardship, the one thing that has shone through is that we are all heroes.  We’re heroes for surviving a challengingyear, for trying even when we were alone, and everything felt hopeless.  The strength we as a world have shown this year is unprecedented.  And it’s this strength that will carry us through 2021 and, hopefully, into brighter days.

 

Cite source:

https://blacklivesmatter.com/about/

https://www.mhanational.org/issues/state-mental-health-america