The new decade beginning gave me hope. Mostly what I longed for was an uneventful year. Over the past few years, my husband’s sister passed from ALS at age 50, and my dad went in for outpatient surgery but didn’t make it out of the ICU. In 2019, specifically, someone very close to me suffered a mental health crisis. On the heels of that situation, I had my worst dive into depression ever, resulting in coming very close to suicide. (I’ve written about this in “My History with Depression” and my earliest posts.) You can see why beginning a new year, a new decade, felt like an opportunity to breathe.
2020 started calmly enough. I was focused on trying to get through work days and recovering on days off. Not sure when I first heard about the coronavirus, but at the end of February my husband and I celebrated our anniversary on a little out of town weekend and nothing had yet been changed due to the virus.
As we waded into 2020, Australia was burning (again) and there was a flurry of gossip and shock (shock!) when we learned Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were going rogue. The impeachment of Trump took up much of the domestic newsfeed, and the death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter made headlines. We heard inconsistent messages about coronavirus and COVID throughout February.
It all became very clear in March. The NBA and the NHL suspended their schedules. The stock market reacted badly to the realities beginning to sink in for us all. People were getting nervous.
Personally, the beach vacation planned around my niece’s wedding in May was canceled. I’d so looked forward to seeing my niece get married, and then we were staying in a beachfront room for a week. The last time my husband and I had a week-long vacation with time at the beach, we were accompanied by our sons, a two-year-old and a six-month-old. They are now 21 and 22.
So, for a few months, things were unsettled. The future was unknown and the information changed daily. In the midst of this, we all watched George Floyd murdered by a cop casually, hand in pocket, his knee on George Floyd’s neck for seven minutes and 46 seconds. (Originally the length of time given was eight minutes and 46 seconds, but in June authorities revised it, saying they had been mistaken.) The tinderbox of uncertainty was lit by the rage of good people after watching ANOTHER Black person killed by police.
Millions of people around the world took to the streets in protest of racial injustice. France, Australia, South Africa, Ireland, Senegal, and more. Marches took place in over 2,000 cities and towns. People of all sorts joined together, mostly masked and mostly peaceful.
At the same time, the virus spread from asymptomatic people to vulnerable populations and through family get-togethers. Young folks got sicker than we thought they would. The death toll rose. And Trump politicized everything.
Communities around the nation grappled with when and how to reopen. The federal government put out clear, appropriate guidelines to follow in order to open safely. It seemed no sooner had the coronavirus taskforce published a step by step reopening plan than Trump started tweeting for people to “liberate” their states.
Here we are. It’s officially fall. Our nation is a patchwork of regions, some with increases in cases and some decreasing. Some governors rushed opening to curry favor with Trump. We’ve seen case counts and deaths soar in those states as a result. It is clear and undeniable – Republicans are putting party and power over people’s lives, literally.
If anyone had any shred of hope left that Trump would ever try to get his arms around the issues we face, it was itself shredded in late September. His taxes, which he has hidden like a rat with a NY slice, showed the world what most had known for years; the emperor has no clothes, not even in his closet. The curtain rose, revealing his yearslong masquerade as a successful businessman. Days later, a presidential debate laid bare the historic choice we have this fall of 2020.
Trump chaos or Biden calm.
Do you want four more years of lies, insults, mismanagement, egotism, and chaos? Trump was once asked, “Doesn’t this wear you out, all the chaos, the storm all around you?” Trump answered, “I am the storm.”
I choose to vote for a professional, experienced team that acknowledges the demand from the majority of Americans to tear up systemic racism by the roots and can also provide a broad, structured, sensible approach to the pandemic still raging. I am so excited to vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.