Good Riddance 2020
It is probably safe to say that most of us will not think fondly on the calendar year of 2020. "Annus horribilis" is the Latin term for a horrible year we would rather forget. Now we look forward to 2021 in the hope that things will get better or at least not get worse. That's a bit of magical thinking isn't it?
Who's to say that 2021 will not be worse? "Just wait until 2020 turns 21," as the El Arroyo sign jests. How does 2020 compare to 1968, 1941, 1929, 1918, or 1860? It's true that 2020 was no picnic. Victor Davis Hanson summarized the typical American experience in his most recent column:
2020 saw the COVID-19 outbreak reach global pandemic proportions by March. Chinese officials mislead the world about the origins of the disease — without apologies,
Authorities here in the U.S. were sometimes contradictory in declaring quarantines either effective or superfluous. Masks were discouraged and then mandated. Researchers initially did not know how exactly the virus spread, only that it could be lethal to those over 65 or with comorbidities.
Initial forecasts of 1 million to 2 million Americans dying from the virus unduly panicked the population. But earlier assurances that the death toll wouldn't reach 100,000 falsely reassured them.
By April, a historic, booming economy was in an abrupt recession. Much of the country went into quarantine on the theory of "flattening the curve" of infection for three to four weeks. Instead, weeks turned into months. Soon, many people believed that the economic wreckage and emotional damage from the lockdowns would eventually overshadow the toll of the virus itself.
By June, initially peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody had turned violent in some cities. For much of the summer and into fall, some major cities would see nightly rioting, looting and arson, as antifa and Black Lives Matter hijacked the nation's outrage over Floyd's death.
Fear of getting infected, concerns about going broke, anxiety about venturing out during the nightly havoc, frustration over weeks of forced isolation, and exhaustion from a bitter presidential campaign — all of it put Americans into a nasty mood on the eve of an acrimonious election."
Rather than resolve the acrimony, the 2020 election has left millions of Americans aggrieved that massive election fraud changed the outcome for the second election in a row.
None of this is 2020's fault. 2020 is just a number on a man-made calendar. The difficulties we have endured in 2020 are almost entirely the result of bad decisions made by (mostly) politicians in the US and abroad.
Special ire should be reserved for the Chinese leaders who chose to hide the dangers of this new virus for weeks, rather than make the world aware of its deadly risk. At home, unreasonable and unscientific lockdown orders have destroyed the livelihoods of thousands of business owners struggling with a pandemic-stricken economy. Politicians in city and state governments undermine the morale of police departments or even defund them in the face of rising crime and open riots.
Perhaps this can be a source of hope for 2021?
Bad decisions can be corrected, and political leaders can be replaced (at least here, China is another matter). The development of the COVID vaccine in record time offers an example of just what Americans can do when they are allowed to do so. We were repeatedly told that this was impossible by our legacy media and the “experts” they recycle daily for consumption.
Perhaps the greatest reason for hope is that Americans still think for themselves. Despite the efforts of technology and media companies to suppress the sharing of ideas and viewpoints they deem "unscientific," "dangerous," or "misleading," Americans, by and large, are deciding for themselves.
That is how it should be. It should give us hope when churches hold worship services despite lockdown orders that would shutter them. It should give us hope when the hypocrisies of politicians are exposed for everyone to see. It should give us hope when we end 2020 by honoring the bravery of Nashville police officers evacuating innocents away from an car bomb.
Perhaps, in the long run, 2020 will be a clarifying moment when Americans realize that our police deserve our respect and honor. Perhaps, 2020 will be the year we stop taking our leaders’ word for it and reassert our authority as the sovereign in this constitutional republic we have been gifted by God and our founding fathers.
That is my prayer at least. Happy New Year!
Norman and Andy Adams
Adams Insurance Service, Inc.