Does anyone remember 1st January 2020?
Towards the end of 2019, there was this excitement for the new year. The new decade. The 2010s had brought all these problems but 2020 was going to be different. 2020 was going to be bright. 2020 was going to be great. It was going to be everything we hoped it to be. There was going to be love and success. 2020 was going to be our year.
I remember writing down my resolutions. Okay, I was really recycling 2019’s resolutions. But, I was sure that 2020 was the year I would actually go through with these resolutions.
The year/decade started out with so much promise. The air was crisp. The colours were brighter.
We’d been hearing about the novel coronavirus but it felt so far away. Like it couldn’t touch us. Couldn’t come close. It was just something that was in Wuhan. We’d watch it on the news and feel sorry for the people in Wuhan. Then we’d go about our lives. Cramming ourselves in taxis, and having to smell the conductor’s armpits. Standing in close proximity to other people. Taking hugs for granted. Taking human contact for granted. Not sanitizing every five minutes. And not wearing masks even though we know flu is airborne.
And then. The virus went on a world tour. With the same energy that pop musicians have when they announce a world tour, the virus skipped Africa for a long time. We took to calling it White People disease. When Tom Hanks announced that he and his wife got Covid-19, we were shocked! What did this ‘flu’ think it was, attacking Hollywood royalty. Still, it was so far away.
The panaromic finally stopped being elitist with it’s 1st and 2nd world tour and visited Africa in March and that was the start of the longest year I have ever lived through. I had hoped, like all those movies predicted, that we’d have cars that hover instead of drive. Instead we got 4 years crammed into 356 days.
Now that this year is closing our with pretty abysmal weather, I started to wonder how we ever survived 2020. How we actually went through the year that had multiple number one hits. From the Panasonic, to the campaigns and elections, both here in Uganda and in America. And the multiple scandals in between. The weather, the fires, the August entanglements, and the riots. I don’t even have to mention which country. It was….a lot. A lot of which my brain chosen not to hold on to.
I think we all got fatigued with everything and whenever something new would come up, we’d just sigh and say, “2020.” Like this year was an errant and stubborn child that we couldn’t quite correct, no matter how many times the child is punished.
Honestly? I wouldn’t be surprised if we woke up and found tomorrow was December 32nd 2020. And it does kinda freak me out that 2021 is literally 2020 won.
So how do we survive a year that keeps on giving?
1. Have a strong support system. I’m grateful for the people I got to know in 2020. The parasitic brought a lockdown that brought isolation that brought connection and reconnection. One of my best friends now was a person that I reconnected with. And I got to know so many people too. People I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. Talk to your people. Open up. Reach out.
2. Hold on to hope. This is a tough thing to do particularly with a year that just keeps dishing out hits after hits. Hope for me is something that helps with my mental health. It’s how I deal. Knowing that everything will be okay at some point.
3. Follow SOPs. Our new normal dictated that we social distance, we wear masks when in public and sanitize as much as possible. It is weird. It is strange but it must be done. To keep safe. Say what you will about this paranymic, it has taught us good hygiene. People that never used to brush their teeth now do lest they subject themselves to their oral bad smell, as opposed to everyone else. To survive 2020, follow these.
4. Hugs. Never taken human contact for granted. When you get to hug someone, do that with a lot of oomph. Hug them like your life depends on it. You never know when you’ll get to do it again. My primary love language is touch. I’m a touchy feely person. If I touch you too much, chances are I love you. So you have to know that lockdown made me crawl out of my skin. I was deprived of touch. When the lock-down was listed, the first friend I saw suffered a hug that lasted so long it would be categorized a cuddle. I apologise to him.
5. Binge. You know that series you always wanted to watch but didn’t have the time? Watch it. You know that book that you always wanted to read but you just weren’t feeling it? Read it. You’ve never had this much time to pursue things that you have always wanted to do. So binge on those things. Occupy your mind. This pandemonium brings fear and anxiety. These eat up mind space. So take your mind off and binge. Netflix and chill was created for such a time as this.
2020 was something else. It probably doesn’t bode well that the weather looks like something out of a disaster movie, but then again, it’s the last day of 2020.Here’s hoping 2021 will be better. Happy New Year my beautiful people. (Not from me and mine, because, I don’t have a ‘mine’ yet. May this change in 2021) As you have thrived and survived in 2020, may you thrive more in 2021.