No, that is not a spelling error. I am literally wringing my hands over what January 2021 will bring my way. 2020 started with some promise. We rang in the new year with our dear friends, having our customary early dinner, movie, champagne toast, and pie à la mode. I think we even made it to midnight. The number, 2020, seemed like it might be lucky. Hah!
Little did I know what was lurking in Wuhan, China when my husband and I went to Florida in January. We had a wonderful time staying with friends in Bonita Springs and then in Sarasota. We ate in great restaurants, took leisurely walks, watched the sunset on the beach, saw an amazing art exhibit, shopped. We took all of these activities for granted.
In February, there was an inkling that a new virus was afoot. But no worries. We felt safe enough to buy a condo, a move we had been discussing for a few years. We saw our granddaughters perform in a talent show and a dance production. The first weekend in March, we traveled to Indiana for an indoor swim meet for two of our grandkids there. We sat in packed bleachers, went out for meals, and stayed in a hotel.I’ll have to admit that we started to feel nervous on that trip. We used our jacket sleeves to open doors, slathered hand sanitizer on frequently, and washed our hands much more often than normal.
That was it for normalcy in 2020. By March 13, we were in a lockdown. We struggled to get our house ready for a real estate market that had died. No one came. We anxiously moved into our condo on May 15, hoping that an empty house would feel safer to folks than one that was lived in. Still no dice until the curve flattened a bit in the fall.
After nine months of COVID-19, we are looking at a very new year indeed. January 1, 2021 will be another day filled with worry and isolation. There doesn’t seem to be much of an actual plan to vaccinate people. Trump golfs for twenty more days while our country crumbles. He and his more rabid, gun-toting supporters frighten me with their threats to “stop the steal.” I’m wringing my hands over the Georgia run-offs on January 5, hoping they will bring an end to Mitch McConnell’s reign of terror over the Senate. Probably not. The Grim Reaper will rise again.
Now, I also have to worry about January 6, when what was a meaningless Congressional ceremony of counting the certified electoral votes becomes an ugly battle over Biden’s victory. And what about Trump’s call for his supporters to come to DC that day for a “wild” gathering to “stop the steal.” According to the Washington Post, “Threats of violence, ploys to smuggle guns into the District and calls to set up an ‘armed encampment’ on the Mall have proliferated in online chats about the Jan. 6 day of protest.”
That day promises to be a huge gathering of white supremacists from around the country, as Trump stokes the flames with continuing tweets encouraging all of his most ardent followers to show up. My stomach churns, which I guess is the point. If Trump can’t change the election’s outcome, at least he can create fear and violence.
How many times do Joe and Kamala have to win? What about all of these wasted days during which there is no transition. How much more will Trump do to hollow out our government? How many more terrible pardons will he dole out? I’m sure my hand-wringing will make him very happy. Chaos and cruelty are the point for him.
This year, I’m not going to kid myself that things will be better. Maybe I’ll get a vaccination in March or April. Maybe my kids will get theirs in the summer. Maybe it will be safe to be with my grandkids again. Maybe they will get to go back to in-person school at some point. But maybe not. Even when January 20 comes and we inaugurate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, theirs will be a steep hill to climb.
Yes, 2021 is a very different beginning to a new year. We will toast our friends over Zoom and then eat a treat and watch a movie by ourselves. On January 1, we will attempt a Zoom with out kids and grandkids. After that, I will begin to fret and worry as Trump continues to dominate the news cycles with his horrible deeds. My only New Year’s resolution is to survive. I begin the new year totally exhausted, discouraged, and wrung out.