What if you had asked me on Jan. 1, 2020, what my predictions were for the coming year? And what if I told you that the following would occur?
1. The long-feared worldwide pandemic was upon us and would bring to a halt almost everything we know as “normal,” causing millions of deaths and altering families for generations, shutting down entire economies, forcing us to wear face masks when we did not stay home, altering or cancelling the schedules of most major events worldwide, closing schools, and creating almost a global fear that nothing would be the same ever again IF we survived it.
2. Amidst all this, a period of serious conflict would arise between law enforcement and minorities, fanning the flames of racial unrest to the point that some people actually started talking about “defunding the police.”
3. Congress would react to the pandemic by passing financial aid “packages” that would keep workers paid and some businesses afloat to the tune of $3 trillion dollars.
4. A “cancel culture” would arise and statues of Confederate soldiers erected following the Civil War would be taken down, moved, stored or destroyed to placate a populace who believed that by doing so, we would erase the memory of racial injustice and change the course of history.
5. Violent storms unlike any in history would arise over the oceans of the world, destroying lives and property in the process and adding to the woes of those already suffering from items 1 through 4.
6. In addition, wildfires in California would do the same as item 5.
7. Since 2020 is an election year, President Trump would face a serious challenge from the likes of 78-year old former Vice President Joe Biden, who would succeed in garnering more of the popular vote than Trump, win enough Electoral College votes to become the president-elect and select a California congresswoman to be what would become the first female vice president of the U.S., breaking all kinds of barriers in the process. That is, of course, if all the counts and re-counts were accurate, and we would not know this for sure as late as two weeks after Election Day.
8. After decades of inactivity, the United States would launch two missions from Cape Canaveral ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station and return, with the initial stage of the rocket floating back to earth and landing without incident onto a ship in the ocean so that it could be re-used at some future date. All this accomplished not by NASA alone, but by a private company called SpaceX, the brainchild of Elon Musk of Tesla fame.
9. A videoconferencing product called Zoom will change the way we communicate with each other, whether it is for business, family gatherings, or whatever. We would see more of each other on the small screen than in-person, and it would force us to begin communicating in ways we have talked about for years.
10. Last but not least, the necessity for staying at home would bring back the notion of family again, sitting around the table and enjoying (we hope) each other’s company, reducing the impact of emissions gases on the environment, and changing the way food chains and other service industries do business (such as delivery, pick-up, and dine out).
I know, if I had told you this on Jan. 1, you would have looked at me kind of funny and swore never to ask that question again.
Perhaps those black-eyed peas you ate on New Year’s Eve did not work as well as they have in the past. Or maybe next time you will pay more attention to your New Year’s resolutions.
Let’s be optimistic that there will be a next time, because that’s the way it oughtta be.
Alan Clark did not predict all of the items in this editorial, and you would not have believed him if he had. Luckily, he continues to write from his home in Estill Springs and has confidence we will endure 2020. Check out his podcasts on Apple Music and on his website at www.alclarkvoice.com.