To 2021

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Kathryn Cambrea, Editor in chief

As I write about this year, I struggle to collect what I want to articulate about 2020. I have written about the pandemic in a variety of forms, through poetry, creative nonfiction, and articles.

It is still very much here. However, through reflecting on the past year, I learned that life can halt in unimaginable ways. I learned that a miniscule virus is capable of killing masses in the current world we live in. I learned that people are rather egocentric, which is indicated through ignoring protocols and calling an international threat to our health, economy, and the entire world “a hoax.” 

It is quite simple to think this way if one is not affected. I am grateful that I have not lost a family member or friend to COVID-19, but I am aware of people in my life who have. Therefore, I recognize that COVID-19 is anything but an illusion. Pretending it is not here anymore does not erase its impact.

An annual ritual of mine is to reach out to people who I care about to tell them to have a happy new year. I am aware that this routine is not exclusively mine; it applies to many, if not all people. This year, it had a different feeling to it, though. Whether I reached out to somebody, or the person first communicated to me, I found myself always saying the same statement.

This year has to be better. 

It has to be.

I understand that we are not there yet. However, so much progress has been made. People have started to receive vaccines, beginning with the people who are most vulnerable, the elderly and first responders. We have our medical workers and scientists to thank for bringing hope to 2021. We have ourselves to hold accountable in order to make sure that this year will be brighter than 2020.

2021, although you are a new year, you could never make the past one forgotten. In this year, we should never forget to honor all the people who we lost to COVID-19. We should extend our hearts to the loved ones of the deceased and of those who are suffering, for they are suffering, too. We should realize the gravity of the sacrifices made by the angels who continue to help those with COVID-19 each day.

2021, when will people stop dying from the virus? When will the vaccine be available to all? When will we be able to hug each other and smile with unmasked faces?

I have to believe that it is with you, 2021. Through the turbulence of this past year and the current state we are in, I smiled with a friend’s voice on the phone. I laughed during an atypical virtual party. I connected to others through writing, radio, and conversation. People I never met had a profound effect on my life, and familiar voices from the past blessed my present. 

I have to believe I’ll finally see them, 2021. I have to believe that people will not only recover, but that their hearts will as well. Humanity will win to COVID-19. And it is not until then that we can finally embrace.

Here’s to 2021.