2020 leaves lessons for new normal

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Graphic by Raven Easterly

Raven Easterly, In-depth editor

  It’s safe to say 2020 has not been the easiest year. We’ve gone from Australia catching fire, to murder hornets, then we saw California ablaze and on top of it all, an election. 

  We lost Kobe Bryant, Chadwick Boseman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sean Connery, and Alex Trebek. It’s obvious that we’ll say goodbye to more beloved public figures in 2021, but all the other problems and fissures that made 2020 tough will remain and deepen. 

  Since January of 2020, more than 300,000 Americans have died, more deaths than in any other nation. The United States is the pity of the world when it comes to COVID-19. Recently recording its most COVID-19 deaths in a week, while state governors have warned of overwhelmed hospitals.  

   The coronavirus has stolen months out of our lives, and we’re all getting good at blaming the pandemic for ruining things.

  But many people also grew closer to their families because of restricted work travel or quarantine. Closer living may have at times been strenuous on some families, but it also provided for bonding and reconnection. 

  Communities all dealt with a common threat, individuals. No matter how different from each other, they shared in the hardships and grew more interconnected. We chose to push through everything, even if we didn’t like it, for the betterment of those around us. 

  We cannot say with certainty when we will be entering post-COVID-19 times, but many hope that it will resemble pre-COVID-19 times. 

  Though we all bask in the comfort of memories of the ‘normal’ times, will we be able to become the same people as we were before the viral outbreak? Will this pandemic not leave an indelible mark on people’s lives?  

  It seems as though we might not be able to go back to the pre-COVID-19 normal, but we should certainly be able to move into the ‘new normal’ informed by what we have learned and experienced.