The Year of 2021 — The AFTERMATH of 2020:
As we welcome 2021, we realize this will be a year of challenges to embrace. Nonetheless, looking back over 2020, we realize pushing forward is our best effort. Let’s do this!
Where do we go from here?
2020 was a year of many! What do we need to do in 2021 to make a difference?
We started with the Pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic became a crisis worldwide, with deaths becoming insurmountable. Hospitals exceeded capacity and could not carry the weight of all the necessary beds for patients. Naval ships were commissioned to aid with hospital beds for the coronavirus patients due to an excessive amount of diagnosis. The lack of PPE and ventilators for medical staff to give aid to those diagnosed with the Coronavirus for proper care and treatment. Medical staff were being drafted and shipped across the country to assist in various states due to a shortage of personnel.
There was a lack of knowledge in the treatment of the virus among the experts such as CDC and WHO. The big guns could not agree on what, who and where. Officials maintained a lack of understanding regarding the start and the containment of the virus. The family deaths turned from one to many. Many loved ones without a support system, left dying alone. Cold storage trucks were commissioned and became morgues. Body bags started piling up because there were not enough staff or personnel to move them. Funeral homes did not know how to maintain the deaths due to the spread of the viral infection. The prisons became a breeding ground for the virus among inmates. For many there was an early release in an effort to save lives. Nursing homes closed due to the overwhelming and aggressive virus, and calls for family members were not answered.
Natural Disasters took over from Every Angle.
Through the month of September, we were hit with more natural disasters than any other year as we took on hurricanes and wildfires, from floods to drought stricken plains, to tornadoes, earthquakes and cyclones. Temperatures in Arizona soared past 100 degrees or higher for an excess of 144 days. Wildfires ravaged the western part of the United States burning more than four million acres with five of six wildfires being the largest in 2020. Tropical cyclones caused significant damage to the coastal climate. The official count of the season for hurricanes came to 30, which officially exhausted the official alphabetical list (Thompson, A., 2020).
Systemic Racism became Paramount.
We faced racism and social unrest with the deaths of multiple Black individuals which were unlike any other from George Floyd with an officer’s knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, which played out live on social media. Armaud Arbery was gunned down by vigilantes as he jogged through a neighborhood. Breonna Taylor was shot and killed due to an illegal no-knock warrant. Rayshard Brooks was shot because he fell asleep in a Wendy’s drive-thru. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement began to move forward, full steam ahead with peaceful protests against civil unrest. National Guard troops was called in to assist with the social unrest which in some cases became riots. Armed militia groups stormed various state buildings in protest of the BLM movement. Government officials were not at ease with the uprising and in many cases at a loss of calming the storm. The civil unrest led to an alleged attempt against a sitting governor to kidnap and kill, which carried a growing list against officials from states across the country. The true partaking of racism continues to abide in the United States of America, which showers us with the “who” is and the “have not’s”. The gatherings with open militia style weapons and over aggression of law enforcement is an action item we need to address — daily. Let us be reminded as we move about our day, it is not about what we do, but how we treat others.
The Failing Infrastructure of our Economy.
There was an economic downfall due to the loss of jobs and businesses forced to close. Major companies closed and workers were forced to work from home. The lack of emergency preparedness gave way to our vulnerable technological infrastructure. The unemployment rate skyrocketed. Families were left without food and shelter. Many were faced with evictions. Mortgages were defaulted. Government unemployment monies and stimulus funds were distributed as a means to assist low income families.
The Education System, not even enough words to Describe the Fallacies Which Took Place.
Schools and universities closed to control the spread of the virus. Laptops were purchased and distributed among some school districts. Families did not have the wired infrastructure to access the online programs.
Busses were wired for hotspots to aid families without Internet access. Second English families were at a disadvantage and could not provide online assistance to their children. Foreign exchange students were caught without a place to live and forced to stay with associates they met while schooling.
The Travel Industry came to a Screeching Halt World-Wide.
Families were stranded on ships at sea due to infected individuals with the coronavirus, as a result cruise ships were left without and could not return passengers. Countries placed lockdown bans on the borders. No one could leave or return to their homeland. At this time, there are ships at sea due to regulations of docking. Amid the virus outbreaks, many crew members tested positive and lost their lives along with a few passengers.
It was a Presidential Year with Surprising Results.
2020 was an election year for the highest ranking official in the United States of America, the president. The current president lost his rebid, and became a one-term president. There were accusations of alleged voter fraud from various parts of the country as well as the president of whom also disputed the results. Voters turned out in epic proportions. Voters overturned states breaking political records. Recount after recount was taken. The President-elect (former Vice President, Joseph Biden), became the oldest to be elected to the office of president with more votes (306) than any elected president in history. The Vice President-elect (Senator Kamala Harris), a black female, again a first in the Office of the White House administration. Both candidates broke records to serve our country.
So in closing, Where do we go from Here?
Yes, 2020, was a journey. It was a groundbreaking year all of which tested our tenacity, our patience, our intellect, and our wit. For 2021, let us take all of what we learned in 2020 and make it happen in 2021.
Thompson, A. (2020): Natural Disasters, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-running-list-of-record-breaking-natural-disasters-in-2020/