The last year has been one of changes and challenges, confusion and concern.
The coming year will likely feature much of the same.
Well — that's wasn't the uplifting "End of Year, Welcome New Year" sentiment some may have been expecting, was it?
Sorry. It's just that we've been here before ... and instead of learning from that first go-round, we're just following the same path.
At first there is the fear of the unknown, then some level of understanding and a push to find solutions. Then there's the hope that the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a train racing towards us, and then there is the strength and pride we find in human perseverance. But at that point, as that strength begins to waiver, we get complacent or tired, and some get suspicious and militant.
And the cycle continues.
How do we get out of this spiral? Is it all about finding a cure to the virus that has created such a rift? Perhaps more importantly, is it a rift at all? Likely, due to the amplification of social media connections, is it not just a minority of the population is actually yelling louder about their thoughts and feelings? Perhaps the real virus is social media.
But that's for another time.
For now, if we are going to rebound as we go into the second full year of this pandemic, we need to believe in each other. If some can't believe in science or math or fact-based studies, perhaps they can believe that their neighbour is still their friend, that their elected official still has their best interests at heart, and that their world isn't out to get them.
The division and distance caused by the pandemic has hurt human interaction — Obviously with social distancing, restrictions on gatherings and muffled, masked conversations — but worse, it has cut into the most basic and most needed level of human contact; our trust and respect for each other.
Until we get that back, it's going to be the same old thing in the new year to come.