As we reach the end of 2020, we look optimistically to 2021. As my 12-year-old pointed out, it’s not like something magical will happen as we enter 2021, yet it’s still a relief that we made it through this year.
Unfortunately, there are way too many people who cannot say that. According to worldometers.info.com, the coronavirus death toll at this moment is 1,824,373 deaths. I don’t want to round that number up or down because each one counts. And whether or not you believe that the COVID-19 is not the cause of all those deaths, it’s still significant and devastating to all involved.
My heart hurts tonight thinking of all of those people who lost loved ones this year. It’s always sad to lose a loved one, but this year it seems especially heavy because of all the additional challenges – isolation, travel bans, social distancing, bans on hospital visits, financial challenges and more. My heart is heavy also for those experiencing illness, financial challenges, loss of income, isolation, homelessness and more.
Although everyone was affected in some way by this pandemic, I am in awe of those essential workers who kept on going to work each day. The medical workers who risked their lives and worked long hours in heartbreaking conditions, filling in for family members who couldn’t be there as their loved ones were dying. Everyone who showed up each day to serve their community, from grocery store workers to utility workers to restaurant employees. To all the volunteers who provided food to those in need, to all the clergy who provided spiritual support. And the teachers – thank G-d for the teachers – who remained devoted to teaching their students whether it be masked in-person or on Zoom, as they also juggled their own family issues. All of these people held families together during this year.
I also am grateful for all those who provided entertainment. The Holderness Family’s videos were a bright spot, as well as the new music, TV and movies that helped lift people’s spirits. Plus there were so many creatives who shared their wisdom, providing classes and content to help inspire others. Also all those people who did whatever they could to pitch in, like my sister, who led free online Zumba classes throughout the pandemic for her students and clients (which my dad and I also joined).
I’m not really sure what the point of this post is as all of this has been documented in the news and so many people are living it firsthand. But I couldn’t let this passage of time go unrecognized so I wanted to write something to express my gratitude to all of those who helped keep the world running and my sympathy to those who have lost loved ones or who are struggling.
May 2021 be a kinder year and may all of those who are hurting be healed.