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Ormond Beach Observer Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020 9 months ago

Why I'm looking back on 2020

Is it a year worth reflecting upon? That's up to you.
by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

I think it's safe to say 2020 did not go as expected. 

Calling 2020 a "tough year" is an understatement. For many families, it was a year of extreme hardship and heartbreak. For many, it was a year of loneliness and isolation. For others, including our frontline health care workers and first responders, it was a year of exhaustion — both mental and physical. 

Maybe you're asking yourself, "Why would I ever want to remember 2020?" 

That's a fair question, and one I can't answer for you. What I can do is tell you why I don't want to forget this year. Through the division caused by both the virus and the social unrest, for me, one thing became clear. Humans crave community, that feeling of having someone stand up for something beside you, be able to hold you up during moments of weakness and, vice versa, be there to share in your moments of happiness and laugh along with you. 

There are stories that didn't make it in this year's timeline: the stories of residents filling needs in the community they discovered through social media; the stories of small businesses being kept afloat by their patrons, even when they were closed; the stories of COVID-19 ICU survivors, who were given a standing ovation as they were wheeled outside; and stories of ones who died after contracting the disease, whose family members had to say goodbye through a cell phone or window. 

So as I look back, I don't want to forget this year. 2020 might've been awful, and we might have also seen the ugly side of humanity in some — the selfishness and lack of compassion — but in others, it brought out perseverance, kindness and innovation. Those are three things I want to carry into next year. 

As we stand on the threshold for 2021, COVID-19 hasn't gone away. But, as health care officials have expressed in the recent weeks of vaccine distribution, there is hope. 

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