Anyone else remember when Boris tweeted this nearly a whole year ago? Some memes just write themselves, don’t they…
2020 has undeniably been one of the worst years in recent history, and whilst COVID largely dominated the year, here are a few things I bet at least some of you will have forgotten about. The news that didn’t reign supreme on BBC and CNN all year. The good, the bad, and the ugly:
- 2020 kicked off with the Australian bush fires (it should have been a sign of times to come)
- The pentagon released UFO videos and no one cared
- Everyone was obsessed with Tiger King
- Elon Musk named his child X Æ A-12 ???
- Murder hornets…
- Trump was impeached and then acquitted
- 2020 grads had to graduate from their own living rooms
- Banana bread took over the world
- Kanye West ran for president
- Chris Evans accidentally shared his own nudes on Instagram
- Scientists found signs of life on Mars and water on the Moon
- Megxit and Brexit happened. The less said about these, the better…
Of course, there were plenty of incredibly important things that happened this year too. The Black Lives Matter protests dominated the world in summer, becoming one of the largest civil rights movements in history. Trump lost the presidential election and will not be returning for a second term, a major win for humanity and a day the world breathed a collective sigh of relief. And of course, the coronavirus…
I find myself thinking back to this time last year with pity for 2019 Kate, who had such high hopes for what 2020 was going to bring after a year that had already been difficult (but also wonderful) in its own way. Who ever could have predicted that this year would hold some of the challenges it has? A global pandemic was something that was barely even on the spectrum of possibility for the vast majority of us.
The new year is widely understood to be a time for fresh starts, and whilst I have always been a little cynical about resolutions and new beginnings (it is just another day like any other, after all) I find myself feeling genuinely scared this year. The reality is that we are not going to wake up on the 1st January 2021 to a brave new world in which COVID has ceased to exist, or where we can hug our family and friends without thinking twice about it. Cases are at an all-time high here in the UK, and after the strangest Christmas many of us have ever encountered and a new strain of the virus taking the world by storm, the fear of the unknown is setting in for me.
Toxic positivity is something I find myself trying to handle in January every year, with “new year, new me” trends and the huge push in diet culture to “burn off those Christmas calories” (which is ultimately doomed to fail and line the pockets of the men ruling the diet industry anyway) taking over social media. Whilst I appreciate that a positive outlook on the year ahead will certainly help handle what is to come, going to the extent of the delusion of a miracle cure (vaccines being rolled out is very exciting but does not mean we can all be back to normal in two months) will not help anyone. If toxic positivity trends on social media push you to believe that 2021 will solve everything, please don’t feel bad if you disagree with what your friends are posting. Don’t feel bad if you are still scared. Don’t feel bad if you are “over it” (we all are!). Don’t feel bad if you are exhausted. These are very normal things to be feeling.
Humans aren’t hardwired to live with this level of uncertainty, and with Sky News reporting yesterday that “the worst is yet to come” I find myself dreading the prospect of another whole year of the pandemic. And that is okay. There is so much going on in the world right now, it’s impossible to know what is going to happen next. And don’t get me wrong, I am sincerely hoping for all these wonderful things to happen! But please forgive me if I don’t wholeheartedly believe they will… at least not straight away, anyway.
I am no professional, I can only really talk about how I am feeling personally with any sort of validity, but I hope this post can bring a sense of comfort that if you are feeling anxious you are certainly not alone.