Not that there weren't worse years – years from which humanity was glad to exit. Still, the year 2020 ranks amongst the top.

If there were a modern year in which modern people wouldn't mind celebrating the end of, it's this year 2020. Yet, we're mostly going to let it pass without the usual fanfare of a milder year. We’re staying safe.

We should be going out to eat with sweethearts, visiting friends, popping corks,  imbibing, dancing, turning up the music, throwing confetti at each other, blowing those weird squeaky things that unroll, clanking clankers, ticking tickers, hugging and shaking hands.

(And of course there will be a bunch of people who do all that. And good luck to them and all they mix with in the coming couple weeks.)

But maybe we've got it wrong. Maybe it's not that this is the year most deserving a hearty farewell. Maybe it's the end of a year that should be watched quietly and reflected upon.

Tomorrow, New Years Day, we run an annual feature ... dozens of locals were asked to reflect on 2020, make wishes for 2021. We reviewed last year's edition of the same feature ... 2019 wasn't so bad and predictions for 2020 were pretty upbeat. It seemed that we had a great year ahead of us. Boy did things go awry. There were, of course, all the man-made problems – plenty of lying, cheating, complaining, harping, along with genuine fear, sorrow and calamity.

But it was COVID-19 that put us in our place.

It's like beholding a great mountain, a beautiful sunset, an incredible something like a starry sky viewed out a hundred miles from the nearest light ... only in a bad way ... one of those things like a flood or a blizzard that remind you that no matter how smart and powerful and dynamic and ingenious the human race thinks it is, the world, the universe, a greater power can trip you up in a second and remind you that, against all of creation, human civilization is a flea, a mote of dust.

In that vein, there's something positive – when creation kicks us down, we deal with it.

Regardless, we can't say we won't be sad to limp into a new year. A change in the calendar doesn't cure much, but it puts time in a bracket and helps us move on.

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone. Happy reflections if you stay safe at home; safe passage if you venture out.


Our View editorials represent the opinion of the Appeal-Democrat and its editorial board and are edited by the publisher and/or editor. Members of the editorial board include: Publisher Glenn Stifflemire and Editor Steve Miller.

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