Are We Done Yet?

/ 31 December 2020

Well, it is the final day of 2020. What many have termed a year from hell. People have memed this year up the wazoo. One of my favorites is something along the lines of God asking an angel to prep disasters for the 2020s, and got misheard as saying 2020. Another is a time traveler asking if the disaster has happened yet, and us replying that they don’t have the first idea how little that narrows things down. I mean, less than 24 hours ago another disaster happened here in the Twin Cities. My point is, this has been quite a year. Hence, the question titling this post, are we done yet? With this decade, I mean. A decade compressed into a year.

At the start of this year, my whole focus was preparing for my surgery. I thought, naively, that the procedure and its recovery would be the major portion of my year. While it was a major portion . . . Jesus, I had no idea what this year was going to be like. My recovery was nowhere near the largest medical thing of the year. Instead, we’re literally hundreds of thousands of people worldwide dead into what was, the Covid-19 pandemic. That isn’t to say my recovery from surgery was painless or quick. It took a significant portion of this year, as is documented on my surgery blog linked from the above-linked post. But it seems so distant now, because of all the crap that has happened.

The very day that I got my final cast off, the shit started hitting the fan here in the Twin Cities regarding the pandemic. I mean, since when do all sports cancel everything? Where I’m still not allowed to put weight on my right foot for a few more weeks, I’m all of a sudden far from alone in those stuck at home all the time. That population has literally grown to be, well, everyone, very nearly. Yikes. Over the next month my life didn’t change as much as we thought it would a year ago. While I can begin to walk increasingly more normally, I’m just as stuck at home as a month earlier, but for literally global reasons, not my foot recovery. Much different, but way more the same. A same that has continued to this day, and will far into 2021.

As if that weren’t enough chaos for one decade, we come up to May 25th. Following the death of George Floyd, I find the first time post-surgery that I’m really out and about is a clergy-led protest. Not my anticipated re-entry to what is, well, decidedly not “normal” life, after all. But it was important. It hasn’t even been half the year yet. Year, not decade, as that meme suggested was the intention of our travesties we’ve endured. By now, my surgery is increasingly a distant memory, when it was mere months earlier. Thanks, 2020…

Much of that last half of this year has been a bit of a blur for most of us. A significantly different “new normal”, and mixed in for the Twin Cities especially, a reckoning surrounding race. Just half a block from my house we still see the aftermath, as a gas station was burned down in the midst of the summer’s unrest. A pandemic wasn’t enough, apparently, there just had to be the breaking point surrounding race and police at the same time. Very 2020.

Oh yeah, and there was also the entire presidential election. Gosh, this was a massively unusual year for that. In almost any other year, that’d have been quite a big portion. But Coronavirus had other plans, clearly. The election took more and more hold of things over the last few months, culminating in November, but really still more front and center thanks to how the current occupant has been treating things. It became the sort of year where I’m using an Advent Calendar to count down to what many are calling Bye Don Day, rather than having used it to count up to Christmas. January 20th is far more important than December 25th was. But, never the full hold of national awareness it usually does, because, pandemic, and . . race.

The election reminds us of the whole impeachment thing. Yes, that was at the start of this year. A bunch of other political shenanigans were sprinkled in almost every other day or so. A whirlwind of activity from January 1st until this minute. That, of course, only sometimes intermixed with the pandemic, which has been raging somewhere in the world for at least a year now. It started in Mach for most Americans, but it isn’t called Covid-19 for fun.

All of us watched more streaming content than we ever did before. Our screen time increased constantly, but who cared, we all understood it was a coping mechanism. We also read more. Remember reading? You know, that thing that was printed and bound paper for a while, until the likes of Amazon and Apple created digital versions? Yeah, that. All coping mechanisms. Or mostly… Some entertainment hit decidedly differently now that we’re all in this Covid moment. Maybe not quite as the artists originally intended. But, 2020.

There are, really, endless aspects of this year that we’ve all forgotten. Or most of us have, at any rate. That is why Netflix has compiled a recap in the form of their Death to 2020 Special. While I can add as much flourish and personal experience to this year as I want, that film does a great job. There were things I’d entirely forgotten about already, which is scary in itself. Watch it.

Hindsight, as of midnight tonight, truly is 2020.