We let our hair go white. We hunkered down inside our homes. We learned to Zoom. We washed our hands a bazillion times a day. And we never touched our noses.
“What are we having for dinner?” became the most important question of the day, and some of us delighted in trying new recipes, new ways of obtaining groceries, and virtual family dinners. And some of us were reminded that we were never very good at cooking in the first place.
We made masks for ourselves and our loved ones. We made masks for our health care workers. We wore masks, we forgot to wear our masks, and some railed against wearing masks, believing they had something to do with our civil liberties.
We chatted in our driveways, six feet apart, and delivered things to each other’s doorknobs, quickly backing off like naughty Halloweeners.
We didn’t go to concerts, baseball games, or our children’s school plays because there weren’t any. Some resourceful folks figured out ways to celebrate graduating seniors, not as they should have been but as well as could be done. Weddings were postponed, vacations were put off, Fourth of July fireworks and parades were canceled. Thanksgiving and Christmas were spent in solitary everydayness or in risky gatherings that sometimes erupted two weeks later in group positives.
Violence escalated as people’s anger grew against the unknown killer, the lost businesses and jobs, the hungry children, the rent, the car payments, and the authorities. There were so many angry people with nothing to keep them occupied and feeling useful and productive.
Will the spiral ever reverse and start an upward climb? Maybe. Possibly. Hopefully. We’ve seen resourcefulness in figuring out alternative ways of doing things and still being safe: church services and funeral memorials in parking lots, restaurants putting food trucks around town, a huge upswing in delivery services, and companies that make liquor and automobiles also making disinfectant and respirators.
An amazing list of ideas came to life. I mentioned resourcefulness. There was also ingenuity, determination, positive thinking, acceptance, compromise, and patience — with some kindness and thoughtfulness thrown in. I know, I know: Pollyanna, Little Mary Sunshine. But giving up is not an option.
Come on, 2021, heal us with your hope!
And hit the road, 2020! May another like you never come again, you evil year, you! May you diminish into just a nightmare in the history books.
Happy New Year. Look ahead. Don’t look back!
Claudia Myers (claudiamyersdesigns.com) is a former costume designer for the Baltimore Opera and Minnesota Ballet. She taught at the College of St. Scholastica. For the past 20 years, she has been an award-winning competitive quilter, author, pattern designer, and quilting teacher. She also is an antiques dealer.