2020: A year like no other and it’s only June
It’s only mid-June and I’m to the point where I feel I’ve already been through a full year of ups and downs.
I was talking with our editor, Karen Jorgensen last week and we were recounting the significant things that have happened since January 1, 2020.
The year began with the Iowa caucuses. The caucuses were plagued with a computer snafu that did not yield the final tally until well after the last polls closed. Then the political attention turned to the New Hampshire primary. Then, South Carolina and a new frontrunner emerged. Joe Biden racked up his first victory on the Democratic ticket. That seems like it was a millennia ago.
In the middle of the primary season, the House impeached President Donald Trump. The Senate later acquitted Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Does anyone remember when high school sports were played on our home courts or ice? The Timberwolves were so-so, and the Minnesota Wild was in the middle of the pack. It all seems so long ago.
Then, wham! We were hit with information that literally shutdown our nation, our state, our county and towns around us. Businesses were forced to close. Only a few “essential” businesses were allowed to remain open.
There was a mad rush to snap up all the toilet paper and that created a shortage and a limit on how much one could purchase. A virus was coming!
Gov. Walz issued an emergency shelter-in-place order, forcing folks to stay home.
All of a sudden parents became homeschooling assistants as school districts converted from the classroom structure to ZOOM and other digital means of instructing their students.
Rest homes and assisted living facilities shuttered their facilities, not allowing anyone from the outside world to enter. Even hospitals, clinics and dental offices were not able to meet with patients in person (unless they were sent to the emergency care).
Health experts at first claimed masks were ineffective in stopping the spread of COVID-19 (that may have been because a shortage quickly exposed health care providers). Then, it became a recommendation and in some cases, mandatory for individuals to enter a business.
Churches improvised. Some used Facebook, YouTube and other digital methods of meeting with congregants. It was improvisation to the max.
Just as the virus was loosening its grip on us, four cops in Minneapolis arrested and ended up killing a black man who had been detained by police for having passed a phony $20 bill. The man’s name was George Floyd.
In a society where everyone has a smart phone, there was an eyewitness who recorded the brutal slaying of this man by an officer placing his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck. That cut off blood flow and oxygen to the man’s brain. The officer and three of his fellow officers were fired, later charged and all hell broke loose.
Rioters, looters set fires that decimated the neighborhood where the alleged murder took place. Riots did not stay in the Lake Street neighborhood, but spread to NYC, LA, Seattle, Portland, England, Australia, and elsewhere. It was a televised nightmare!
After things began to settle down, some city leaders said they wanted to do away with police departments, defund them or just plain hamstring them.
Wait, there’s more! We are smack dab in the middle of a presidential election, so we all know there will be mudslinging, charges of voter fraud and the potential for more violence.
Twenty-twenty may turn out to be the most volatile year in our nation’s history.