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2020: Don’t Give Up Yet

December 31st, 2020 · No Comments · Baseball, Basketball, Dodgers, Lakers, NBA

In late December of last year — 2019, that is; so long ago — a columnist for The New York Times made a compelling case that 2019 was the “best year” in the history of the human race.

Longer lifespans, fewer neonatal deaths, less starvation, more money trickling down to the poorest, more internet access, more clean water … and so on.

And here we are one year later, trying to wrap our minds around the disaster that was 2020, at times nearly swallowed up (or so it seemed) by a pandemic that has taken 1.8 million lives from grieving families and battered the global economy.

It has been rough, emotionally. Many of us have shared the feelings of dread that hover over the so-far healthy, this sense of doom, that it is only a matter of time before the Covid-19 virus catches up to us. Others pine after friends and family, stranded by curfews and lock-downs.

But that is not all the time, thank goodness. And when we are able to disconnect fear from reality, we come back with an appreciation of nature’s power and how it can strike us down — something perhaps we need to reflect upon, given that several generations of people now living seem to believe they will go on forever. A mindset nearly unthinkable only 100 years ago, when another pandemic (the Spanish Flu) circled the globe and killed far more people then (perhaps 50 million) than Covid is killing now.

Covid reminded us that life is precious, and sometimes foolishly spent. It takes something like a rogue virus to accomplish that.

Many of us have hit upon coping strategies as the pandemic rages on. One approach is to follow the science and wear masks, to be mindful of social distancing, to stay indoors. Another is to read or listen to music, or catch up on that correspondence you hadn’t gotten around to, or to plant a garden or learn how to knit. Another? Take advantage of extra time to watch your favorite team play. In our case, we saw two of our favorite teams (basketball’s Lakers and baseball’s Dodgers, win championships.

Now, vaccines are here, or on the horizon, and it seems prudent that we take advantage of those, when given the chance.

It sometimes feels like we have been put through a stress test, and we know more about ourselves than we did 10 months ago, when this all started.

We might do well to look back at less challenging times than these, and to recall that a year ago we lived through the “best year” ever.

It may take another year, or five, but we can aim for a re-run of 2019. We got there once. Why can’t we, with diligence and patience, do it again? And even better.


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