This post is me trying really hard to put the ‘good’ in ‘good riddance 2020’, which is an actual phrase I saw on New Years Eve party supplies. You remember those “I hate when people ask what I’ll be doing in 3 years” memes? Well, as it turns out, none of us had a 2020 vision. Who would have predicted a year-long, in-real-life Black Mirror episode? Probably The Simpsons. But no one else.
Our sense of time went out the window a long time ago, but retrospectively I can divide the year into a few solid clumps. So enjoy this generalised, almost chronological 2020 recap.
On boxing day 2019 we watched recordings of cyclones in Fiji, where we headed on new years day. We’d heard about a virus in China, but at this point, it was just a distant flu-like situation. The only disaster making history was the bushfire crisis back home and our prime-minister being on holidays. Climate change was still the number one concern on everyone’s mind if any. We were trying to get Trump impeached, and Megan and Harry left the royal family. I moved to Wollongong, went to parties, concerts and Mardi Gras without fear of a crowd, not having owned a portable hand sanitiser since primary school.
Toilet Paper Crisis
There was a point where most people still weren’t really thinking about the virus, but somehow people convinced themselves that they needed 12 packs of toilet paper each. Genuinely the craziest part of this year (except perhaps the murder hornets? Whatever that was?). At this point, we knew the virus existed and was very much present in the western world, but we also for some reason thought that only old people could get it. Staying home was a light suggestion. There was a lot of misinformation and confusion going around.
Lots of people lost their job. Most people had their entire routine and lifestyle readjusted in some way or another. Time and truth went out the window, and we had to stay inside. Everyone and everything went online. We found ways to entertain ourselves and connect with each other. We made up funny pandemic conspiracies. We hit the ‘continue watching’ button over and over; we let autoplay take us on a tour of every video on Youtube. We relentlessly consumed online content, and our standard for ‘good’ content lowered dramatically, hence the popularity of Tiger King. Everyone regressed into their old cringe interests or learned to bake sourdough. Everyone got bangs. I cut my hair off and listened to a lot of Taylor Swift.
Meanwhile, in the ‘real world’…
If you went into 2020 with the privilege of not caring about politics, it’s doubtful that you left it the same way. Even if you just sat at home, signed online petitions and went on Twitter, you heard about George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. I went to the BLM protest in Wollongong and learned a lot about systematic racism and police brutality, in the US and also in Australia.
There was also the Biden campaign, and Tik Tok users ‘sabotaging’ Trump to the point he threatened to take it away. The presidential debate was genuinely funny to watch, which is insane because when I watched the Trump vs Hilary debate in 2016, I cried…and now Trump’s presidency is just a joke. Biden’s still an old white man, but he picked the fantastic Kamala Harris as vice president, and he’s not Trump; and that’s what counts, right?
Also, just a side note – The footage of Trump on the balcony of the White House after his covid scare has massive president snow vibes – and in general Trump has president snow vibes – except Snow is smart and you have some sense of sympathy for him.
I checked YouTube; apparently, other people agree.
Anyway, somewhere between the Wollongong BLM protest and Biden’s election, I moved back home. I did my second semester of uni online from Dubbo, dyed my hair blue, waited for it to fade through purple to pink and dyed it back to brown, bought a car, and got this blog up and going again. Happy New Year!
No matter how much or how little you achieved in 2020, we all came out of it a little exhausted, and on a hard supply for hope because of the whole global pandemic thing. There are always good things to be found, though. It’ll be interesting to see how this year will affect human connection and interaction going forth. The pandemic and its aftershocks are not over, but surely it can only get better from here.
“Drink more water and wear a mask”
Leave a Comment