New Year’s Eve

There are years you remember forever, seared into your memory, etched in stone, unforgettable; e.g. President Kennedy’s assassination (1963), the moon landing (1969) and the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon (2001). 2020, the COVID year, is one of those years.

People began stockpiling toilet paper, hand sanitizer, bottled water and food. Supply shortages caused empty shelves, rationing and limited store hours. Stock market drops almost 3,000 pts in one day (10%), greater than the crash of 1929. Unemployment rose to 14.7%. Schools resort to on-line learning; Zoom becomes a household word. Working from home is common practice. Major sporting events cancelled: Wimbledon, British Open, Tokyo Olympics & Boston Marathon. NBA teams live and play in a “bubble” at Disney World Resort in Orlando–televised, but no fans. Pro baseball, pro golf, NFL and college football are played in front of cardboard cutouts of “fans” and piped-in crowd noise. Churches are closed, replaced with online services. Face masks become common. Facial expressions and clear speech? Fugettabout it! Social distancing is the new normal. Mental illness from social isolation is rising. Restaurants are shut down or restricted to carry-out. Murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police is a catalyst for venting frustrations with nationwide protests and demand for social justice, providing a stage for Antifa and BLM’s radical rhetoric inciting violence and looting — riots in Portland lasted 100 days. Federal government sends stimulus checks of $1,200/ person trying to keep small business and families from going bankrupt. It helps, but even large companies declare bankruptcy. COVID vaccine becomes available in RECORD TIME, less than a year. The presidential election is also impacted; results were challenged in several states over mail-in ballots and suspicious vote-counting machines. Total COVID casualties to date: Worldwide: 79.5 MM cases, 1.76 MM deaths. USA: 18.8 MM cases, 329 M deaths.

For toppers, our beloved Westie, Fancy (16), died, leaving us dogless for the first time in over 50 years. Uggh! Good riddance, 2020!

Thought for the Day: I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.
Anne Frank

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