I guess we should have seen it coming at the top of 2020 since I work in news. But, like the rest of the world, I foolishly believed that I could never be touched by something that happened so far away — as in China.
How wrong I was.
But, as plans fell into place for us to move across the country and begin our new lives, we continued to blissfully ignore the signs. Like much of the country, it wasn’t until early March when my life began to feel as if it were shattering into a million pieces — that’s pretty dramatic — I just discovered that CNN sucks, and would ultimately leave me with my proverbial ass hanging in the wind. We recovered. And this is where things got horrific and great at the same time.
I was one of the lucky ones. After a couple of months of prolific freelance work and EDD, I got my old job in LA back — we even won an Edward R. Murrow award.
But, the numbers of cases continued to rise, and people began dying. We hid in our new Atlanta apartment. We baked and gardened, and like everyone else, we wiped down groceries and learned our mask preferences.
My son and his partner left California and moved to Atlanta, to live only a few miles away, but we didn’t see them for weeks as everyone quarantined. We felt overjoyed and amazingly fortunate.
We settled in. And then things went from bad to horrifying with the murder of George Floyd. For a moment, we were hopeful. Maybe Black lives really would matter. We took to the streets. We were embraced into groups looking to diversify and help out artists of color. Room was made for us. We took advantage of it. I got a piece published in the Washington Post and a dream came true for me. Then we bought a house and another dream came true.
This year taught us so many things about our fellow man — for better and worse. All the “Karens” and “Kens,” the maskless anti-vaxxers, the Trump supporters, and those who walked fearlessly into hospitals knowing that they may get sick taking care of people but walked in nonetheless. We are not a collective-thinking group us humans. We do not put the community above ourselves often. A painful reality proved in the pandemic and in politics.
As this raging bitch of a year comes to a close, I find myself feeling awfully fortunate, however. So many lives have been lost, and more are to come. And it’s gut-wrenching to think about all of the many hearts broken across the planet this year. My family is all okay. My son, his partner, my husband, my husband’s family, my sister, her husband, my niece, her partner, and my amazing friends. We’re surviving so far. I’m safe. And warm. And loved. What more is there?
Welcome, 2021. I hope you bring joy and calm, dignity, science, and the betterment of mankind. A girl can hope at least.