On Dec. 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. we will all collectively (with or without the help of Ryan Seacrest) count down the remaining seconds of the year and breathe a sigh of relief as the year 2020 is vanquished, slain like the ferocious dragon that we all imagine it to have been, wreaking havoc upon our daily lives and sending us in turmoil. Like the great incandescent kaleidoscopic ball in Times Square, 2020 has fallen and unlike the famous glowing orb, 2020 shall never rise again.
With the defeat of 2020, all of our problems shall cease. On the morning of Jan. 1, 2021, as 300 NYC Department of Sanitation employees sweep up the confetti precariously scattered about the New York streets, we shall all look back at 2020 as a distant memory, of the times when things went terribly wrong but America was able to hustle together and unite as one making the strong and smart decisions for the betterment of everyone to combat the numerous disadvantages that have been thrown at us.
That actually won’t happen. Well, I imagine America’s beloved Ryan Seacrest will still host New Year’s Rockin Eve. And yes, the Department of Sanitation will still likely be there cleaning up after the particularly rowdy outdoor New Year party goers who have hopefully at least been wearing masks along with their oversized 2021-shaped plastic glasses. However, on the bright beautiful morning of 2021, all of our problems will not go away. In fact, the damage caused by COVID-19 is predicted to linger for months or even years from now, said Anthony Fauci in a Nov. 9 2020 article.
So what gives? Weren’t our problems supposed to end at the start of the blessed 2021? The mere alliterative numbers of the year 2020 are what spiraled all of this bad luck, wasn’t it? Well, you don’t need me to tell you that that isn’t quite how this works. It isn’t one year deciding to go rogue and wreaking havoc that has brought our many recent misfortunes. It’s just large-scale problems and an unfortunate lack of cooperation among the bodies tasked with solving them that has led to such a spiral.
We’ve existed in a post-COVID world for over a year now, and everyone has to unite together in order to solve this problem. That means following well-researched guidelines that are backed up by science such as what the CDC provides. Wearing masks, washing your hands and enforcing physical distancing — these are the tried and true methods of keeping this virus at bay and keeping folks safe. Just because the date is changing, doesn’t mean it is time to abandon safety precautions. Now more than ever it is time to unite as a health-oriented society for the safety of our large-scale community.
There certainly is hope on the horizon. There are two big COVID-19 vaccines being developed with high effectiveness rates that are looking at widespread distribution rather soon. This is absolutely great news. Taking an effective and scientifically approved vaccine is the way to turn this pandemic around. Just don’t take it too easy. Stay cautious, stay vigilant and most of all, please stay safe for the good of our community and the world.
I know I will still be celebrating the new year and I shall join in the countdown to 2020’s end along with Ryan Seacrest (albeit remotely and through the television screen). Take this holiday time to reflect and keep your loved ones safe. We’re not out of the woods yet, and it is high time to look forward to a hopeful future, but we must create that future. We can’t just wait for a magic countdown to solve these problems. Take action, stay safe, save lives and have a happy 2021.
Editor’s Note: The North Wind is committed to offering a free and open public forum of ideas, publishing a wide range of viewpoints to accurately represent the NMU student body. This is a staff column, written by an employee of the North Wind. As such, it expresses the personal opinions of the individual writer, and does not necessarily reflect the position of the North Wind Editorial Board.