Somehow most of us made it this far through the barbaric hellscape that has been 2020.
The pandemic, the lockdown, the Memorial Day “coming out” to check your shadow, the summer that was just weird, now an autumn that is turning into a cascade of unnecessary infections and deaths.
The 20m+ people who still don’t have jobs, and thanks to Mitch McConnell, have no relief in sight.
The Presidential election that some still think is ongoing despite being decided pretty much within 24 hours of the last vote being cast
And while 2021 sure looks brighter right now, we still have to survive the remaining 35ish days of 2020 to get to that light at the end of the tunnel we hope isn’t a train.
2020: A Requiem
On a personal note, 2020 has been shit. The year started ok, but turned quickly in February when my father died just a few months after his younger brother passed. Then, just weeks later, another uncle passed away. The first 4 months of 2020 came with guns a blazin’.
In March, we returned from Spring Break only to find the world completely shut down, and my industry, the live events industry, in shambles.
There are lots of other businesses that are suffering: restaurants, hotels, catering companies, and more. But every company I know that provides people and gear for the conventions people go to, has laid off at least 90% of their staff.
With COVID infections on the rise, there’s little hope of those people coming back on the job anytime soon. Even after the months it will take to distribute one of the vaccine candidates coming out now, it will take more than year to get to herd immunity (70% vaccinated).
In the mean time, barring some miraculous change of heart from Congress, a couple million event industry professionals will either suffer another year of joblessness, or pray they can find something that uses their unique skills, even if it pays far less than they are accustomed.
Giving Thanks Anyway
While 2020 has been a real asshole, there are some reasons to give thanks.
Most of my friends and family have been healthy and COVID free. We’ve been able to survive the massive changes to life and routine.
I still have a job, which is a miracle in its own right. Some companies have completely shut down, hoping to ride this out until events come back for real. I’m seeing more and more companies on the auction block. I’m both sad for the people who are losing once viable businesses, and glad I’m one of the lucky ones.
And even though Thanksgiving will be a smaller affair this year, I’m more thankful this year than in previous years for all the gifts I have in my life: my wife and daughter, our stinky needy dog, my mom and brother and his family, aunts, uncles and cousins. Through the adversity, we’ve come together and feel closer, and that’s a good feeling despite the circumstances.
I don’t know what the rest of 2020 has in store, and Lord knows I’m loathe to guess. Every guess I’ve made so far has been bested by a level of weirdness and unpredictability never before seen. But I’m thankful that, one way or the other, me and mine will push through it with the same kind of determination we’ve carried on for nearly 9 months now.
So as we enter this time of reflection, just before a time of sickening mass consumerism, I want to give thanks for all I have and look forward to all that’s ahead.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving. Even if you can’t gather with all your family, take some time to tell them you love them. Its important. It will make you feel better. It will make them feel better. And now more than ever, we need each other.