by Chris Goff
It’s 2020, and who among us hasn’t seen changes.
And we are welcoming two new members: Jenny Milchman and Carla Neggers. Jenny is the winner of the Mary Higgins Clark and Silver Falchion awards, earned starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist, and was nominated for PEN/Faulkner, Macavity and Anthony awards. Carla is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 75 novels. She is a former VP of International Thriller Writers, a past-president of Novelists, Inc., and has received multiple awards for her writing.
The Rogues couldn’t be happier!
This year, the valley is filled with smoke. This past week or so, Colorado’s Front Range has clocked the worst air quality in the world, at least twice. The smoke has come in on the Jet Stream, dragged in from the Cameron Peak fire burning far to the north, currently 128,149 acres and 42% contained; the Mullen Fire burning farther to the north in Wyoming and Colorado, currently 151,711 acres and 14% contained; and the Washington, Oregon and California fires which have burned more than 5.8 million acres, taken lives, burned out communities and are still raging out of control.
In light of that, what’s a little wheezing?
COVID has changed the world
It’s crazy! No more handshakes. No more kisses. No more hugs. No more blowing out candles on a birthday cake!
Working from home. Constant hand sanitizing. Home haircuts. Mask-rash.
And the longer we remain “safer at home,” the more it becomes part of the changing fabric of our lives. I’m not sure we won’t be living with a number of these changes for some years to come.
My youngest daughter, a school teacher, listened to me complain, then asked me, “Mom, if you could take a shot that gave you a 70% chance of protection against getting the virus, would you take it?” I said, “Of course.” She said, “That’s the protection you get if we ALL wear our masks.”
The latest stats show 35.9 million cases of Covid-19 worldwide, with 1.004,051 deaths.
So, who cares what the fashion police think?
It’s sometimes hard to see the good in the bad. 2020 has been a tumultuous year. But some positives have risen from the ashes.
1. Embracing change. While it’s clear we still have work to do in our quest for racial equality and our fight against social injustice, our time at home has given many of us an opportunity to read, explore and reflect on our past and future roles in this changing narrative. The important thing is, people are hearing, and there is a dialogue going on.
2. Scientific Advancement. Our scientific and medical communities rock! When faced with faced with a health crisis, they jumped right on the vaccine, and it’s looming on the horizon. Amazing! Of course, I’m reminded of the great Swine Flu Shot debacle of 1975. That said, I’ll role up my sleeve when the time comes.
3. People coming together. Not only is this happening on a local level, with people lending a hand, our own government managed to pass the CARES act to help the American people. We’ve seen firsthand how people with major differences can come together when faced with a common enemy. Now, if it were only sustainable.
4. Personal growth. Spending more time with family and friends. Exploring the Great Outdoors―taking walks, picnicking, meeting friends in the park. Celebrating the positive environmental changes due to the lockdown of COVID-19. Heck, carbon emissions are down. Delhi, India had blue skies. You could see fish in the Venice canals.
5. I’ve come to appreciate my husband’s most annoying tendency.
Does that require explanation?
My husband is a hoarder.
Not a “call for intervention” type, but a hoarder none the less. His is a mild case, and he knows it. My kids know it. If he uses one jar of pickle relish, he buys three to replace it. If he uses one can of tuna fish, he buys four. You get the picture. During a recent move, the kids found expired soup cans marked 1971 in the back of the pantry. It’s a family joke.
Knowing didn’t change the habit, which has come in very handy since we’ve been ordered to stay at home. Guess who had a stockpile of toilet paper, apple juice and diet Coke!
How about you, Reader? What is the most positive thing that has come out of 2020 for you?