Editor's Take: In With the New
IN WITH THE NEW
At the beginning of a new year, it is customary to look back at the old. 2020 was a very unique and challenging year. While looking back, I admire the world’s creativity, flexibility, and problem solving due to many changes in our normal lives.
In our own community and beyond we saw mass expansion in home deliveryand curbside pickup options. We have seen this shift in businesses across the board, from restaurants and groceries to auto shops and home improvement stores. Pulling up to the library and texting to have your books
delivered right to your trunk was a very accommodating phase. Restaurants have extended their dining spaces to outdoor patios and set up tents in parking lots. Hand sanitizer and plexiglass were distributed in abundance. Venues provided online reservations in time slots to allow for planning ahead and spacing out. Many of these changes have provided compliance with safety regulations, as well as greater convenience for customers.
Being socially distant was, and still is, encouraged at every place outside of our homes. Reminders came in the form of tape, rope, stickers on the floor, signs on every other table or bench, stuffed animals, mannequins, and painted sections on the grass.My favorite has been the cardboard cutoutsof people, characters, and animals spread across stadium seats in place of fans.
Virtual has become the new normal for taking a class, watching a performance, or holding a business meeting. We’ve “attended” church, family reunions, and parties virtually. I’ve even received
a treat or paraphernalia in the mail to be enjoyed during an online party. Games, campaigns, service, and competitions have been accomplished over social media. School has shifted to many virtual and hybrid options, with fewer people at school at a time and a lot of online work. Teachers and students have even joined the physical classroom through a projector screen while in quarantine.
It seems that nearly every household needed to implement or improve a home office, home gym, home classroom, or all of the above. Home projects increased due to these necessities and more time at home. We have become experts at using our devices
to join online meets. This phenomenon has included new skills in muting ourselves, displaying creative backgrounds behind us, and sharing screens. It has been entertaining to watch silent clapping and thumbs up or thumbs down while on camera in a group setting.
Handshakes and hugs have been replaced with elbow or foot bumps,waves, and salutes. Even smiles can’t be the usual form of greeting while wearing a mask. It has been crazy to see how unrecognizable people can be in a mask. Masks and face shields are the new fashion statement. They come in a huge varietyto show style, funny faces, school spirit,employers, team unity,
and so forth.
Although we’ve missedout on a lot, we’vealso learned innovative ways to do moreand connect withothers. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” has certainly applied here. It will be interesting to seewhich of these developments createdout of necessity
will actually remain routine moving forward. Despite all the changes in public, time at home, time with family, and time to slow down have been a welcomed transition. We have certainly come to recognize how much we took for granted and will have more gratitude for gathering with family and friends when we can again. I appreciate and respect the ability we’ve shown to change, to cope, and to improve. We did well. We fought a good fight! Here’s to a new year and a fresh start. Happy New Year 2021!