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Goodbye to 2020 … please

A snowless Marcy Field on Christmas weekend. (Provided photo — Diane Chase)

My family and I have been fortunate. I count my blessings every day and that includes a headcount. I’m not meaning to sound cavalier, but since the beginning of this pandemic, I knew it was just a matter of time before my circle would tighten, interweaving with those affected by this virus.

Sadly, it didn’t take as long as I had anticipated for me to attended my first virtual memorial. Since that time friends have lost parents, grandparents, other friends, co-workers, and neighbors in record numbers. All deaths are not contributed to COVID, nor are they counted as such. Each person is a loss, a gap, a hole in someone’s universe.

It’s been exhausting having to change habits, to wear masks, and to wonder which people had never washed their hands. It was tiring to rethink school, employment, and travel. Again, I count my blessings. It’s easy to keep socially distant when my job has always been remote. I never had to serve people or be belittled by mask-less strangers like business owners, clerks, or healthcare workers when their jobs were deemed essential. I didn’t have to sit at home and watch while a lifelong dream business closed or my work was labeled not essential. I didn’t have to reinvent myself numerous times as restaurants, local shops, and educators did.

If 2020 is the five stages of grief some people are still in denial. The rest of us are floating between anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. 2020 showed me how much we all need each other. We are here to help and lift other people.

This isn’t the year to make new year’s resolutions we never manage to keep. The calendar flipping over to 2021 isn’t going to wipe the slate clean. The possibility of an actual brand new year depends on all of us. If 2021 is going to see change, then let’s keep working together to make that happen. I want to make sure the positive parts of this past year remain and only the negative aspects get flushed away.

Please don’t let your guard down or wish your problems away. Stay diligent. Let’s continue to be patient and remember we all have a different struggle. I hope leaving 2020 and its woes behind is the one resolution we can keep. Stay safe.

I hope 2021 brings you a happier new year.

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