Did we place too much hope on 2021?

The first week of 2021 sure didn’t live up any expectations of a new optimistic start. The Holderness family summed it up well in their video this week.

G-d bless the Holderness family. Their videos have been such a bright spot during the past 10 months.

Despite trying to surround myself with positivity, I’m feeling so weighed down by the current circumstances of our country. It reminds me of the days after 9/11, when the uncertainty of what would be coming next cast a dark shadow over everyday life. Except this time the turmoil is from within. Watching fellow Americans break into the Capitol and desecrate the heart of American government was crushing.

I usually try really hard to see both sides of a situation and try not to judge people, but I’m having a really tough time with this one. I understand the concern about censorship and the perceived loss of civil liberties, but I don’t see how that equates with violently breaking into the Capitol and the sight of a Confederate flag inside the Capitol is really disturbing. Are there people really hoping for another Civil War?

Pic taken during a 2004 visit

It feels like there are not only two sides to the current situation, but more like two alternate realities. Completely different realities, even if we avoid all the election-related components.

What is going on with all the people seemingly ignoring the existence of COVID-19? With hospitals and medial personnel being overburdened and running out of space, why are people still running around in large crowds without masks? Not to mention traveling across the country to hang out with others in large groups without masks before heading home.

Arizona is currently the number one spot of the highest rate of new COVID cases in the world (specifically the zip code where my dad lives.) What?! I realize we are fortunate because our kids are attending a school that is handling the current situation really well and they are attending in person and my husband and I are able to work from home. We wear masks when we go out (which is rarely) and I feel an immense amount of guilt that our kids have mainly stayed home other than school and a few outdoor outings for the past 10 months (especially when I see vacation photos of other families on social media). But then I hear stories from acquaintances who are in the medical field and so many sad announcements of people whose loved ones are sick with COVID or have died from it, that we continue to stay home because we’re trying to do our part and not add to the traumatic situation.

I know there are those who would laugh at us and say that we’re living in fear, but I prefer to think of it as trying to do our part in this horrific global pandemic. Just like there were war rations in previous wars, we are cutting back on our lifestyle for the sake of our country and our fellow humans. If it wasn’t for missing getting together with family and friends and traveling and going out to fun places, I actually don’t mind being home so much and have plenty to keep me busy and learning. I’m grateful for the ways we’ve found to connect to others online or on the phone. But my heart aches for those whose lives have been forever altered by the virus and I get so frustrated by those who take it so lightly that they endanger others.

I have gone through different waves of emotion throughout this time. The other day, I remembered that I had hoped to take the kids to Disneyland last summer and then the idea that Disneyland wasn’t even open made me so sad. In light of everything there is to be sad about these days, it may sound like an irrational concern, but sometimes the enormity of how this pandemic has affected our world hits me in different ways.

The arrival of a vaccine on the scene is a potential light at the end of the tunnel, but it will still be several months before it will become available to many people and there are still countless others who will refuse to take it. At this point, I guess we shouldn’t worry about what’s going to happen months from now because we have so much worry to focus on right now that there’s just not enough time to look that far in the future.

Meanwhile, keep safe and connected to those you love and care about and be good to one another and hopefully sometime in 2021 we’ll see better times.

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