EDITORIAL: Hope for the New Year

Rod.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Categories: Editorial, Opinion

On the last morning of dreadful, depressing, devastating, deadly 2020, a sign of hope for the future of our civilization popped up on Facebook.

SAT JULY 31, 2021 AT 7:30 PM EDT. Rod Stewart with Special Guest Cheap Trick. Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Lawn seats are $22.25. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Jan. 10.

If the thought of 76-year-old Rod Stewart growling “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” and kicking soccer balls into the summer night doesn’t get you stirred up for the new year, nothing will. (Plus Cheap Trick!)

Then Facebook did it again. Another sign.

FRI SEPT 17-19, 2021. The French and Indian War Encampment at Fort William Henry in Lake George.

Then popped up another one. And another one.

Many of us went to bed last night keeping our fingers crossed that 2020 would end and hoping we’d wake up to a new beginning.

If you’re reading this right now, you’re 1 for 1 in 2021. Congrats!

Many of us today will reflect on the past year, most of us not fondly.

The sad, serious reality is that a once-in-a-century virus dominated our lives in 2020.

It changed with way we live and work. It changed how our kids go to school.

It cost us jobs and livelihoods. It put mom-and-pop businesses out of business. It took away our entertainment and our vacations.

It put hundreds of thousands of people on unemployment, forced people from their homes and separated us from our loved ones.

It brought illness and death to tens of thousands of families all across the country.

Sadly, turning the page of a calendar is by no means the panacea to the ills of 2020.

The virus is actually spreading and is predicted to get worse in the next few months, before spring and the vaccine hopefully do their magic.

The economic suffering will continue for many people into 2021.

Many of us will get sick and many of us will lose family members to this disease.

Be under no illusions. The pain didn’t end when December did.

But at some point, the pandemic will end, or at least wind down to the point where we can resume many of our old activities.

In the meantime, we have to continue to do the things that got us through to this point.

We’ll need to keep taking precautions.

Keep wearing our masks. Keep washing our hands. Keep social distancing.

If you’re not taking this seriously after all that’s happened, what’s wrong with you? If you don’t take precautions for yourself, at least do it for others.

As part of our new year’s resolutions, maybe we could resolve to do the good things we did last year even better.

What emerged from the darkness of the pandemic were great acts of selflessness and charity.

Food drives and clothing drives and toy drives. Neighborhood parades to celebrate birthdays or just to bring some cheer. Family Zoom game nights and socially distanced gatherings around the fire pit.

We witnessed everyone from medical professionals, to school teachers, to waiters and waitresses, to grocery store workers and care-givers putting themselves on the line to help get the rest of us through this.

Bless you all.

We’ll need more of that generosity, more of that spirit and energy and hope, to continue into the new year.

We can do it. We made it through 2020. We can make it just a little bit further.

And one day very soon, a concert under the stars will feel more like a reality and less like a long-lost dream.

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