Twenty-twenty was more about the experiences than the virus
Two-hundred-fifteen. I looked it up.
As of New Year’s Eve that was how many stories I had written in 2020 about COVID-19.
Among those stories were those from the early days of the pandemic when we were all sitting around and waiting for the first case to be reported in Warren County. Then there were those where we were just sitting around waiting for the first virus-related death to be reported.
There were stories about businesses being shut down, schools shut down and stories where we all became familiar with shelter-in-place orders.
But 2020 was far more than those 215 COVID-19 stories. For me, 2020 will be remembered for far more than the virus, but rather the experiences.
I had the amazing experience to have a COVID-19 test and I appreciate the talented medical professionals who administered it. The skill they had in pushing that swab deep into my sinus cavity not only got what they needed to test me for COVID but gave me the superhero ability of now smelling colors.
I got to experience what those in my family had to deal with in the rationing days of World War I and World War II as I did unspeakable things to acquire such basic needs as toilet paper, and sneak past a grocery store clerk that third package of frozen chicken.
But more than the stories and experiences of COVID, there were stories and events in 2020 that I will cherish. It was not all bad.
With the nearly complete shutdown in the early days of the pandemic, my children got to experience a bit of what my childhood was like when simply playing outside and using your imagination was invaluable to growing up.
During the spring, when schools had moved to virtual learning, my children would wake up, take care of their lessons, wait for the school bus to deliver a bag lunch and then sit outside to eat. Sometimes, they would take their lunches and take up a spot on the limb of a large magnolia tree — along with other children in the neighborhood — to eat lunch together.
There was a blessed calmness to the early days of the pandemic, where the world slowed down just for a minute. Being the parents of three tremendously active children, having the world press the pause button for a few weeks wasn’t such a bad thing.
Twenty-twenty will forever be remembered for the virus, the lives lost and the lives forever changed, and it should be. History is history and this has been a year for the history books.
But, for me, it will be a year remembered for the experiences — those I’d like to forget and those I pray I never do.
There is no telling what this new year will bring, but knowing how we as a people dealt with 2020, all I can say is ‘bring it on.’
Tim Reeves is editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.