By ~ Nina Gonzalez – OpEd Editor
The year 2020 has been quite the ride. As the year came to an end, nothing seemed to be outside the realm of possibility. Who knows what could’ve happened, maybe a zombie apocalypse? We collectively, as the entire human race have been through enough in 2020, the last thing we needed was the dead to crawl up from six feet under to ring in the new year with us. However, “it’s 2020” has seemed to be a valid reason for anything that went wrong. No one would really be that surprised. Hopefully, 2021 will grant us the relief from the 2020 chaos that we all so desperately need and want.
The coronavirus is probably the number one thing that affected everyone’s life this year. This pandemic has turned the world on its side, completely changing life as we know it. We have been in quarantine for about nine months now and still, nothing is the same. The virus has taken approximately 1.72 million lives worldwide this year with the United States accounting for about 323,000 of those lives. Fear of the dangers from this virus still lives in everyone, but there are multiple vaccines recently developed that are looking promising for the upcoming year.
Although there are still concerns over the vaccine, it seems that they will be addressed as time moves along and will hopefully be resolved by late 2021. As of now the number of vaccines are limited, so frontline workers, people ages 75 and older, and residents of long term care facilities are among the first to receive it. However, mass distribution should be available later on in the new year. People are scared to get the vaccine because they are unsure of the side effects. Admititley, I myself am a little hesitant to receive it when it is available. However, President-Elect Joe Biden and Dr.Fauci, America’s top infectious disease specialists, have both taken a vaccine. Dr.Fauci took the Moderna vaccine and President-Elect Biden took the Pfizer vaccine. Both men encourage people to take the vaccine when it is available. “The speed did not sacrifice the integrity of science, nor did it sacrifice safety,” Dr.Fauci asserted. President-Elect Biden plans to distribute 100 million vaccine shots, which would only account for 50 million people since the vaccines require two shots, within his first 100 days in office to kick off his presidency and the new year. This will have only about 15% of the nation’s population vaccinated by April 30, however that is a pretty good start all things considered.
Before Joe Biden earned the title of President-Elect, we as a nation had to sit through a grueling election year. All eyes were locked on the US as months of politics filled social media, magazines, newspapers, etc. Even when Joe Biden had won the election, it wasn’t over, we still had to sit and hope that our president would cooperate and we would see a peaceful transition. A new president may bring more change that we would not only like to see, but that we need to see. Biden promises change for the nation from helping the middle class, affordable healthcare for all, student debt assistance, etc.
Students and adults have been forced to work from home due to the pandemic. Hopefully by the start of the new school year in September 2021, everyone should be back. Children will return to the classrooms and have a normal childhood school experience, with trading snacks at snack time, running around the classroom and playing freeze tag at lunch. High school students will be back cramming through the over packed hallways to get to their classes in the three minutes they get between bells. College students will be roaming campus filling the library, the gym, and campus centers, studying and hanging out with friends between classes.
Although it will take time to return to some level of normalcy, 2021 seems like it is our shimmer of hope to put 2020 behind us. I hope this year brings good fortune and luck to everyone to make up for everything we were put through last year!