It’s very ‘en vogue’ to bash 2020. As if a year is a living entity and intentionally chooses to wreak havoc upon us.
2020 was a pretty ok year when compared to all previous years in human history.
Perhaps what stands out is that for the first time since 1945 the privileged citizens of the world ran into some minor discomforts. This is not to belittle the pandemic. For those who have lost loved ones to this virus no words can make up for what they endured, but this situation is not the 30 thirty years war, it’s not the Mongols invading, it’s not the first World War, it’s not the second World War. It doesn’t compare to any war that lasted longer than a month actually.
All previous years were infinitely shittier for millions of people on this earth. It’s not the kind of people our mainstream media like to focus on. We’re also not talking about the folks the consumers of the mainstream news care to think about much.
2019 was pretty shitty if you were a refugee in a boat. Even if you arrived safely in the land of milk and honey you were still treated as if you were not really fully human. The same goes for Palestinians. Or people in Yemen. Or many shades of brown people in Syria or Lybia (where slave markets have made a comeback after the demise of Kadaffi) or Iraq or Iranians suffering because of the sanctions the US arbitrarily slams them with.
In fact, 2020 seems to get such a bad reputation because precisely the people we consider to be fully human, fully a member of the civilized world faced visible, tangible hardships.
If the last ten years or so can have a relatively good reputation even though a ton of shit happened, I don’t see why 2020 should get such a bad one.
Young people still blissfully lost their virginity.
New romances blossomed.
Babies were born.
Friendships were forged.
People still formed the most juicy and delightfully deviant sexual bonds.
Games were played.
Books were written and sometimes even read.
Some Hollywood movies didn’t suck.
No major new war errupted. I mean, what happened between Armenia and Azerbaijan hardly compares to even ONE DAY of the Vietnam war.
I won the game the Settlers of Catan several times.
I found people to play Civilization with.
My son started communicating with us a lot more. I was high on fatherhood a lot this year.
And Slovakia just felt even more sleepy than usual.
Geography matters though. Yes, the covid crisis hit the US worse. Far worse. Many people lost their jobs and their health insurance, because they have a government that does not believe in assisting its poorer citizens. No matter who is in the White House. You would think that the flaws of American society are now so exposed that people would actually change a few things for real there, but alas, in this 2020 is no different from any other year in the US since at least the late 1970’s.
It was uncomfortable to wear a mask at times. But not more uncomfortable than walking around a music festival with 40,000 fellow human beings in the broiling sun. And for me the music doesn’t even begin to compensate at an event like that. It really is all relative.
It was at times painful not to see any member of my family for over a year. But this also gave us the incentive to be more in touch than we are in a ‘normal’ year.
Somehow my hands didn’t dry out from washing them close to 20 times a day.
It took some time to adapt to teaching online. Or to work with therapy clients over email.
The local running track was closed because of Covid. Bummer. Sure. But what a great excuse not to exercise.
We got lazier this year. Though not the couriers who keep delivering stuff to our door step.
I didn’t go deep into the ‘this is all a hoax’ rabbit hole. No need. Most people and most governments treated it as very real, so I just went along with that. Compared to some people who are actually paranoid about this virus I even broke fewer rules.
If you go over this site you can see I have written almost nothing about this pandemic. I’m sitting this one out.
Am not an expert when it comes to pandemics. I had no idea so many people were such experts when it comes to anti-virus measures! I have only a vague notion of what a virus is. I know more about the board game Pandemic than about Covid. I felt no inclination to say anything about it. Too much noise. Whoever wants to talk about it with me is welcome to do so. I listen.
The truth is that I went into cocoon mode this year. It’s a great time to read books, listen to audiobooks, watch movies and series, do some soul searching in peace, avoid people. It was nice to have public transportation almost to myself at times.
I enjoy a bit of Schadenfreude because the churches are closed around here. How do people get through the days without a sip of Jesus’s blood? Ow wait, the priest always hogs the chalice for himself alone. Well, without a slice of the body of Christ then. They seem to get along just fine. I hope they will not forget how sinful they all are and how homo sex is a big no no!
I know that some professions are having a particularly hard time. I have the political influence of a dead Roman slave, so I could not do much about that, but I did intentionally spend a bit more money where it seems to matter most. My literal two cents.
Covid did not trump my usual obsessions.
The biggest calamity of this year – on the world stage that is – for me is still Bernie outing himself as a complete SCHMUCK with less tactical insight than Chamberlain on a very bad day. Am still hurting from how quickly he went from hero to zero. There was that moment, you know, where you thought the US stood a chance to create a better society. Nope.
So, 2020, for me personally it ranks as number 3 if I were to compare the last twenty two years of my life. And it still makes the top 10 if I compare it to all my years on this planet.
Historically it will go down as an annus horribilis, but that’s only true if you don’t care about history.
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Een bedenking: wat milieu en natuur betreft was 2020 een rampjaar. Niet dat de mensheid de vorige jaren zijn best niet heeft gedaan om een en ander om zeep te helpen, maar hoeveel multinationals of regimes zouden niet geprofiteerd hebben van de focus op corona om vuile zaakjes te doen? Niemand niks gezien…
En de hoeveelheid plastic die we hebben geproduceerd! Daar gaan we straks nog in verstikken.
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Ik denk dat er inderdaad velen geprofiteerd hebben van deze situatie. De graaigragen onder ons laten zo’n crisis niet ongebuit voorbijgaan. Ik lees ook wel dat in sommige delen van de wereld de natuur een beetje regeneratie heeft ondergaan, omdat de economie wat stil lag. Er zouden in 2020 ook 7 procent minder emissies zijn. Zelfs als dat cijfer klopt, is dat natuurlijk maar een druppel op een hete plaat en binnenkort is het toch weer volle gas business as usual. Waarom een gevaarlijke minderheid aan egotistische winstzoekers toch altijd weer de meerderheid – die me toch lijkt te bestaan uit goeie zielen – kan meesleuren richting de klif blijft een groot raadsel. Op een of andere manier komen de brave mensen nooit aan de macht en anders worden ze wel afgeknald door een gekke lone gunman.