Milton Academy

Wren Katibak

February 3rd, 2021

I think I speak for most people when I say, 'Finally! 2020 is finally over!' It's been a long,
arduous year for many of us, and the past twelve months have been full of changes for the vast
majority of us.

For starters: quarantine! I vividly remember the days when everyone I knew was excited to be
able to stay home from school because of COVID-19 since we all assumed it was only going to
be for a few weeks. Unfortunately, it has spiraled into full-on lockdown in many places in the
United States, which means no vacation, weddings, funerals, and so much more. Daily life has
changed a lot between January and December.

Many people have emigrated online for work or school, which has resulted in varying degrees of
success. Some people are really thriving in their respective online communities and find that
being online might be better for them in the long run. The less fortunate of us are really
struggling with constant video calls or the lack of face-to-face interactions. Others who still go to
work personally are potentially putting their lives (or the people around them's lives) on the line
to keep our communities up and running, which is a big jump for people like cashiers at grocery
stores or people in the fast-food industry. Doctors and nurses especially are working at maximum
overdrive to keep things afloat, what with the constantly rising cases in the U.S. COVID protocol

has also brought changes when it comes to mask-wearing. Masks have brought on a lot of drama
in the past few months especially, ranging from protests in favour of the idea of masks violating
'American Freedom' and the creation of kind-of-pretty-but-entirely-ineffective mesh masks.
They're now required to enter many establishments across the country, much to the chagrin of a
surprising amount of people who don't like masks or are still in disbelief about the existence of
COVID-19. Nevertheless, masks and quarantine seem to be part of our new, American every day
until things change once more.

Another thing that has changed a lot as 2020 progressed is the fight against racism. Of course, it
isn't a new thing by any means, but this past year has been one of a lot of light being shed and
more constant activism. The Black Lives Matter movement especially has been vocal all year
ever since the untimely death of George Floyd in late-May. Many people came together to get
justice for Floyd, whether through petitions online or COVID-safe protests all across the country.
The surfacing of Breonna Taylor's shooting that occured in March only fanned the flames of
activism as BLM garnered more and more traction as the weeks progressed. Unfortunately, the
rise of activism comes with a fair share of performative activism, as well.

The increasing attention being put on BLM and other anti-racist movements also exposed many
people's true colours, whether they were seen actively being racist and insensitive or being
performative in their support. There have been many hot topics that coincide with BLM, such as
'All Cops Are Bastards' (ACAB), 'All Lives Matter' (ALM), the aestheticization of politics (i.e.
Hello Kitty says ACAB), and much more. The insurgence of the BLM movement has also
brought to light a lot of other anti-racist sentiments for Hispanic people, Natives, Asians, and

other marginalized communities. Of course, the fight against police brutality, racism, and the
biased justice system is nothing new, but 2020 shed a lot more light on the issues at hand.

2020 has been a long, long year for many of us, and change is bound to happen. COVID,
quarantine, and BLM only really scratch the surface of everything that happened this year. The
Australian and West Coast wildfires, proof of the existence of aliens, murder hornets, Kobe and
Gigi Bryant's deaths, Chadwick Boseman's death, U.S. election season, and the recent federal
execution of Brandon Bernard all happened this year, and there is so much more. Of course, the
year wasn't all bad, but I speak for most people when I say I'm glad it's almost over. Change is
inevitable and welcome, but one can only take so much before it gets tiring.

Here's to a better (and shorter-feeling) 2021!

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