It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times
2020 was a year of diversity. On the one hand, it was frustrating, depressing, aggravating and scary. On the other hand, it brought unity, challenged us to do things differently and provided time we previously took for granted to develop new skills and talents.
The first round of COVID took hold when we were on a Caribbean cruise. We watched, helplessly isolated, from the TV in our stateroom as the world changed from the one we left a week before, to the one we would be returning to. Thankfully we had no outbreaks on the ship and made it home, where we immediately went into lockdown. All outgoing cruises were cancelled the day we arrived. Food was already in short supply and we had almost nothing left in the house, but we were luckily able to get a delivery before even that was difficult to do.
After that, food shopping was planned around when the trucks arrived so that you had a chance to get at least some of what you wanted. Even then, store shelves were ravaged and paper products were nonexistent. During this first wave, while it was bad, I did not personally know anyone who had the virus.
Summer came and with it a chance to get outside to eat, walk the dog and socialize at a distance. There was a feeling of normalcy during this time, but there were warnings of another wave of the virus in the fall, that unfortunately would prove true. This one however was far worse. I now knew many people who contracted it, some much worse than others. As I write this, we are still in the midst of that, with news on more contagious and deadly strains cropping up. Our former President failed on all accounts to properly prepare for and plan for it. He literally suggested that drinking bleach could be an option to eliminate the virus. When the vaccine was finally introduced, he turned down the option to order enough to cover the larger population, ceased any communication regarding a plan on how to distribute and left office in disgrace - leaving the next administration to clean- up the mess.
From a business perspective, shops, restaurants and personal services businesses were hit hardest. High tech, home sales and online products and services however grew exponentially. Face masks became the fashion statement of the pandemic, with patterns and colors available to match any outfit or express your individual personality. We are hopeful this will all be over soon and that we can get back to the ‘normal’ that we had previously taken so much for granted.