2020: In The Rearview Mirror

(originally written 12/30/20)

Let's put the rat on the table: 2020 was a rotten year overall, that much can't really be disputed. Unless maybe you're a Los Angeles Dodger. More on that later.


Personally, nothing bad happened to me directly. And I'm grateful for that. But so much horror and mayhem went down around me, that I cannot say I escaped 2020 totally unscathed.


It all began with that damn virus. That potent, far-reaching, crippling, and in hundreds of thousands of cases, lethal virus. Weren't we past the stage of civilization where a worldwide plague could wipe out half the population? Evidently not. After March, the virus pretty much destroyed the social lives of me and my child. No school from March to year's end, no summer swimming, no Girl Scouts, no trick-or-treating, no birthday celebration. Very little family, very little friends (at least in person).


Luckily, Josie actually likes being at home. That's where we keep the computer/video games.


Then we endured the mid-year riots over the Floyd killing. I was, on some level, traumatized by all the mayhem going on in my backyard—to this day, I'm not nearly as comfortable going out at night as I had been before. The only way to cope with what was happening was to pretend it wasn't happening—real adult, I know—and to that extent, I swore off the news and disengaged from all my social media with no plans to return.


(My kid reactivated my Facebook to use an app connected to it, but I still avoid it, though I may have posted this blog there if they hadn't discontinued their "Notes" feature.)


As if there wasn't enough suck in 2020 already, the piece-of-crap Dodgers won the frikkin' World Series. It was inevitable this year. I must admit: they were stacked. And I'd previously used up all my favors from the baseball gods successfully pleading for Dodger choke jobs 2017-19. (And in every other season that L.A. has contended. But I'm not here to talk about the past.)
Of course, in true Dodger fashion, Justin Turner—one of few longtime Dodgers I could actually stand—joined in the victory celebration fully aware he was carrying COVID. As if I could hold more contempt for that franchise...


I tried to get in shape two different times this year. In January, I joined my bud Dave for regular gym sessions in Hercules, sessions which ended when the virus hit. Then in July, another bud, Jon, got me up and off the couch via Zoom workout sessions. I hung in for a few weeks before regrettably quitting...but not before dropping a little weight, at least.


2020 claimed the lives of four people I knew: an old friend from high school, Jermel, in August (from unknown causes), my neighbor Gearry in an October car crash, my cousins' great-grandmother "Granny" at age 96 in November and my mom's good friend Royal in December (from COVID).
Personally, the loss of Gearry has affected me the most—the new neighbors are kind of loud. Let's leave it there.


We won't delve into my abysmal showing in 2020 Fantasy Football.


Though I said last year I likely wouldn't continue collecting baseball cards...I continued collecting baseball cards. 2020 Topps was surprisingly quality, even if many of its featured players are young enough to be my son.


Like so many Americans, I'm more than ready to close the book on the year 2020. While grateful for my health and the health of most people in my life (namely my mom, daughter and closest friends), other than the cards, I won't remember this year for anything good at all.