2020 Didn’t Fail Us. We Failed 2020. We Failed Ourselves.

I used to shake my head when co-workers would come to my office, screaming about how their supervisor fired them. It was usually because of poor attendance, continued tardiness, less than desirable job performance, fighting, theft, job procedure violation, insubordination, inebriation, constipation or some other reason that came down to employee decision or action.

But they weren’t fired. They lost their job.

Same thing with school. People complain that the teacher flunked them. C’mon man. Teachers actually get audited and graded by the Powers That Be for THEIR output. It serves in their best interest to pass the most students with the best grades possible as a reflection of their ability to teach. They don’t run around handing out F’s for fun.

That’s our problem. No one wants to admit that they simply failed the course.

So here we are in the final month, the final days of 2020 and everyone is posting about how they can’t wait for 2020 to end. “F*ck 2020!” or “2020 Is Brutal”. Been hearing that for the greater part of the latter half of the year.

But can we really blame 2020?

First and biggest on the complaint list has been the Covid-19 pandemic. But who’s truly to blame? From what we understand, it (the virus) originated in China and we (Americans) knew the modes of transmission, symptoms and severity potential from Day 1.

Every continent did.

At that point, how we managed it is and was on US.

So what did we do? We laughed at video clips of people in other countries, with people waiting outside of establishments with canes to whip violators as they exited, for not “staying at home” and “sheltering in place”. Yes, we laughed – all the while, listening to a leader who denounced and then minimized the threat potential when it hit here.

So we ignored it.

Then things got serious and the country shut down in March. “STAY AT HOME. If you must go out, wear a mask. Establish a minimum of 6′ distance between yourself and the next person”.

And how did we respond to that?

It was cool at first. Plexiglass barriers, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), “essential workers” only, sanitize everything, offer additional cleaning materials to customers as they enter the store.

That didn’t last long.

I walk into a grocery store now, knowing the shopping cart was last handled by another customer. I go to the drive-through window and the attendant isn’t wearing a mask or gloves. Not that that mattered anyway because when they WERE wearing gloves, any bacterial agents present transferred from the last credit card to their gloves and onto MY credit card.

And then the real fun began.

“I know my rights! I’m taking all of the toilet paper, damn everybody else! You’re depriving me of my entertainment, let the athletes play contact sports! Open up the movie theaters! Send these kids to school! I’m throwing a party and all of my friends are invited. You’re declaring martial law! It’s not fair! I’m not wearing a mask to enter an establishment! You can’t force me!”

Obviously I can go on and on about how the administration, its loyal followers (yeah, I just took a shot) and the rest of these ignorant cretins handled things. That includes the businesses and other organizations who relaxed or completely abandoned protocol. I’ve been saying it for years now: the longer we go without an incident/accident, the greater the risks we take (that’s the safety professional in me). That’s the way of humanity. If I don’t have it, I’ll keep taking chances until I do.

We’ve lost too many lives, leading the world in cases as well as deaths. Yet we’re fighting amongst ourselves about whether or not we should follow the rules, or have any at all.

And I don’t need to talk about the madness we called an election, Stimulus checks, unemployment, violence and everything else. Every single case was the result of our own folly.

At the end of the day/year, all we can do is look at our report card at the big letter “F” circled in red ink.

At some point we need to stop blaming 2020 for what WE did and/or failed to do. At some point we need to say, “we failed the course”.

Maybe then we can actually make, show and be proud of our progress. Our own healing.

Because if we’re not careful, it’s going to carry right on into the new year and we’ll be right back at it again, bitching about 2021.

But then again, the changing of a calendar page was never a guarantee of a changing of a mindset.

You know?


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