Carnes: Starting and ending with surprises
2020 began with such promise.
Or so we thought.
In January, the Hallmark Channel’s “Winter in Vail” movie, where local restaurant owners came together to hold a StrudelFest to save the poor old decrepit area known as Vail Village from financial ruin, was meant to be heartwarming and all fuzzy-like, but was obviously a plant for the upcoming disaster, as 95% of the movie was filmed in Canada.
February saw good snow, and though there was a virus cloud slowly traveling around the planet, we were assured it wouldn’t amount to much, so no real need to worry.
Then the worrying began.
By mid-March the entire summer had already been canceled as we were told to stop touching our faces, wash our hands and cough into our elbows.
And then the hoarding began.
Oh, and the ski mountains closed as well.
Those living paycheck to paycheck began living unemployment check to unemployment check, all while our leaders were promising the virus would, “One day it’s like a miracle …it will disappear.”
The only thing that disappeared besides our nation’s credibility was Americans ability to deal with mortgage and rent payments, utility bills, school loans, car payments, food and medicine and plenty of other expenses.
By the time spring rolled around, locals rediscovered puzzles and deliveries for dinner, 8 p.m. howling and how to never trust anyone whose opening line is, “I’m not a doctor, but …”
Zoom became a thing, millions were for some bizarre reason captivated by a meth-induced love story involving tigers and a self-appointed king, while most local bars and restaurants closed, some for good.
Summer was mostly a bust, according to those dependent upon summer business, yet tax receipts showed quite the opposite except in the town of Vail, which confused everyone even more.
Overall crime, traffic accidents and DUIs were down but domestic violence was up drastically, and we learned of such fascinating organizations as QAnon, Proud Boys, Boogaloo Boys and Antifa, with much confusion debating which side was anti-democracy punks or pro-fascist punks.
Local real estate began going sky high, we began defining “essential workers,” we began learning to recognize people by their eyes alone and that “only liberal snowflakes wear masks.”
A temporary leader was bizarrely praised for repeating “Person, woman, man, camera, TV” aloud while ignoring over 300,000 dead Americans, local restaurant workers couldn’t pay rent but we learned the NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL players could all play without fans and still collect million dollar paychecks.
Schools were closed, reopened, closed again, etc. while food banks became a thing actually noticed by Americans and used by millions who never dreamed they would be in such a position.
Apparently Russian hackers had been infiltrating the entire U.S. government since March and used poison underwear to attack dissenters while American leadership was busy rage-tweeting over a spouse not making magazine covers.
2020 is ending with leader of the Coronavirus Task Force, Vice President Mike Pence, setting the ultimate example of travel restrictions while ImPotus played golf, pardoned convicted felon loyalists and convicted murderers and ensured no grudge goes unpunished, all to the confounding cheers of those he’s hurt the most.
I’m sure it makes sense somewhere, but not here.
Please be the only one,
Hopefully we won’t be surprised
by a new virus called COVID-21.
Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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