Saying Goodbye to 2020

Needless to say, when the clock strikes midnight tomorrow night, most of us will be more than happy to say “good riddance!” to 2020.

It was a year full of turmoil and grief from day one and all the way through to its 366th and final day. The Chinese/Wuhan/Hong Kong Fluey, also known as COVID-19, was a disruptive force around the world. One made worse by people using it to their advantage to sow chaos and discord. In its wake we now can no longer can trust our scientists, our medical people or our politicians (not that yours truly had any trust of politicians to begin with).

We see so-called experts moving the goalposts on everything COVID-related. Yes, masks work. No, masks don’t work. Back and forth on a weekly, sometimes even daily, basis. We’ve seen people dying in car accidents or other non-Covid related causes, but if they happened to have tested positive shortly before their demise, or even not in a few cases, the death was added to the COVID death scoreboards the media loves to run.

Our politicians are little better. Issuing draconian lockdown orders for the masses, while not applying those same rules to themselves or their friends. Keeping their wineries open while others are shuttered, going into beauty salons while others were denied that opportunity, eating $14 a pint ice cream while blocking needed stimulus money from those suffering from their lockdown missives or for political gain in elections. Proclaiming they are “following the science” and in practice not following it at all if they happen to disagree with it. Ordering COVID-positive patients to be forced into homes where the most-vulnerable lived, causing tens of thousands of needless deaths.

On the subject of politics and politicians, I washed my hands of both back in 2016 when one side told me if I wasn’t “with her” I’d be sent to prison as a traitor while the other side threatened to deport me if I didn’t “get on the train” with their guy – this despite at least two of my maternal ancestors having been standing on the beach when the Mayflower dropped anchor in the New World for the very first time. Its one of the reasons why I don’t discuss politics here or on social media anymore. Its too toxic and a waste of time.

But our political class, on both sides, have destroyed any faith we should have in our elections after this year. Again, I’ve got no dog in this hunt. But it is clear to me that massive cheating took place in critical states. Was it enough to change the outcome? Possibly, yes. But because we aren’t being allowed an open and honest examination of everything related to the voting in those six critical states, we will never know for sure. That doubt will carry over and worsen with each passing election. If there has been a stolen election, those responsible will have only themselves to blame for the whirlwind they have sown when it strikes. And it will be devastating when it does.

It would be nice if, when the clock strikes midnight tomorrow, all the ills of 2020 would vanish in a vapor, like Cinderella’s coach. But in real life, that simply does not happen. Many of the issues of 2020, especially the larger ones, are going to carryover. In addition to the election controversy and COVID-19 we still have the domestic terrorism of BLM and Antifa causing woes across the country. We have renegade DAs and State AGs – bought and paid for by an old, hate-filled man who has built his empire upon the destruction of countries’ economies – seeking to set free criminals and lock up the law abiding people who merely seek to exercise their free speech and defend their lives and homes because the police can no longer do so.

And, after four years of being demonized by slander and attacked for *wrongthink* – including being hunted down and shot dead in the streets – the other side now gets it turn at protesting in opposition of the President. If anyone truly thinks the next four years are going to be one of “Unity” then I have this very nice bridge in New York that I’d love to sell you. I’m laying odds of 3-to-1 that we’re in a shooting Civil War in this country by the end of 2022 unless something happens to turn things around. I will pray for better days ahead, but prepare for even worse to come.

For me personally 2020 was not such a great year. I doubt anyone could honestly say it was one of their best either. We began the year in Omaha, where we’d thought we’d found a permanent home and ended it in Western Colorado. We’ve had a host of health scares, a few still in progress, and both my wife and I likely were among the first cases of COVID in the U.S. thanks to a careless traveler who had it, didn’t tell anyone and then went to two major events in Eastern Nebraska. We both were pretty sick for a few days, a bad flu we thought at the time because COVID wasn’t supposed to be in our area at all, and only later put the pieces together that it was likely COVID. My doctor is convinced my exposure to it triggered a shingles outbreak that hit the right side of my face and permanently damaged nerves around one eye and weakened the sight in that eye slightly. This happened back in February and the nerve issues are still going on today. I’m told I’ll get to deal with them for the rest of my days too.

And, instead of a one-month visit to Omaha by my grandson, followed by a two-week visit with family out west, we had to squeeze in a socially distanced four hour visit in California – which required a two-day drive in both directions to get there and back. As hard as that was on us, I can only imagine how bad it was for those who could not visit with elderly parents at all, even when they were on their deathbeds, or even attend their funeral.

Professionally, I did finally get back to novel writing, finishing Galen’s Way which I hope will be out in February or March – another issue COVID is delaying – and I did manage to finish my duties (save for the final manuscript for Saturn which will be in soon) for the Planetary Series. The short stories I have in eight of the 11 books and a couple of other anthologies I managed to get into, were the highlight of my 2020 writing – along with my Star Trek Fan Fiction series which wraps up in March, but that is already written.

But overall, 2020 is not a year I will look back fondly upon. I suspect the same will be said by many. The woes of the year will not fade away when the clock hits 12 tomorrow night. But here’s hoping that they are on the decline and a better year awaits us all in 2021.

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