And so it was that 2020 steadily moved towards the end. The nightmares would still be there, even if the sense of being about to turn an important corner was palpable, ludicrously so.
The internet is swimming in posts and articles about people’s expectations when the first year of a new decade began vs the reality they were dealt by an unforgiving God or the silly invention of a global pandemic that nobody was really prepared for.
There will be families without loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas with. New Year celebrations — the typical moment when it’s a new year in Australia — will probably need to be more creative. It will be sad to certify that major world leaders did not care in the least about the many challenges that everyday folk have to confront.
Somewhere at the other end of a Christmas tree there will be a Zoom meeting. It will be tough to communicate over the platform with everybody suddenly going through the same motions on a global level. We will complain about the quality of our connection, knowing that it’s always been hard to call home for Christmas.
I will be going for walks and rides on the bike here, carrying my thousand masks with me so I don’t make the mistake of locking myself out of a coffee shop. People will sit outside in Houston, still unwilling to declare itself in winter, much like Trump unable to bring himself to the reality of having lost a presidential election.
The world will be a tougher place, much tougher place, for a long time. Reluctantly, I must confess it could last longer than my own existence. I would not be surprised if a new war is in the horizon, involving this country and other global powers. Maybe, if they do happen, some of the enthusiasts willing to pull ubiquitous weapons to attack fellow citizens will have a chance to redirect their aim to a higher purpose…if a war entails one, of course.
I am not sure about the future at the other end of this annus horribilis we are still almost drowning in. I just know it will only be better to a certain degree, for example that the war on a virus can be concluded or at least half-won. However, the larger view is bleak. So many certainties and tacit agreements have been broken in the transition of power and the preservation of our institutions that it has become scary. The best world we have is the one we can turn to if, every now and then, when the need arises, we know there is a place where we can live inside ourselves.